WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), Gwen S. Moore (D-WI), and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) this week introduced a bill to reauthorize services and support for victims of domestic violence.
H.R. 6014, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act of 2018, is the primary source of federal funding to support emergency shelter and related assistance for victims of domestic violence and their families. Since it was enacted in 1984, FVPSA has addressed domestic violence through community-driven solutions and a network of programs and services dedicated to responding to domestic violence across the country.
“As strong advocates for victim assistance, victims’ rights and safeguarding all Americans from domestic violence, we are proud to introduce this legislation to reauthorize these life-saving services,” Reps. Stefanik, Thompson, Moore, and Blunt Rochester said. “Domestic violence has no place in American society, and this legislation is essential to ensuring we are not only standing up for victims of domestic violence, but we are also doing everything in our power to stand against it. We urge all of our colleagues to support this bill.”
Today’s bill would reauthorize the program at current levels for Fiscal Years 2019 through 2023. FVPSA is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Family and Youth Services Bureau, which allocates FVPSA formula grants to states, territories and tribes, state domestic violence coalitions, and national and special-issue resource centers, according to HHS.
“A lack of shelter funding should never jeopardize survivors in need of safety and support,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. “Passage of the bipartisan Family Violence Prevention Services Reauthorization Act (FVPSA) would ensure that 1.3 million victims and their children have access to life-saving services every year. The National Network to End Domestic Violence strongly supports this legislation. We applaud Reps. Thompson, Moore, Stefanik and Blunt Rochester for their leadership and commitment to standing with survivors.”
"In 2017, The National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and it’s program loveisrespect.org answered nearly 330,000 calls, texts, and chats from survivors of domestic violence and dating abuse who reached out for crisis intervention, safety planning and resources because of funding received through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act,” said Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of The Hotline. "In addition to funding The Hotline, FVPSA funding allows us to collaborate with partners such as the National Women's Indigenous Resource Center (NIWRC) to create the StrongHearts Native Helpline, providing culturally appropriate support services to Native women. Without FVPSA, these critical services would not exist. The Hotline expresses its gratitude to Reps. Thompson, Moore, Stefanik, and Blunt-Rochester for their continued commitment to survivors of domestic violence."
Critical support services funded under FVPSA include:
- Coordinating statewide improvements within local communities, social service systems, and programming regarding the prevention and intervention of domestic violence through the leadership of State Domestic Violence Coalitions and FVPSA State Administrators.
- Supporting the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which provides crisis intervention, counseling, and safety planning and can directly connect calls to a seamless referral system of more than 4,500 community programs across the U.S. The Hotline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is available in 170 languages.
- Increasing public awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence, dating violence, and family violence.
- Supporting local and community-based domestic violence programs with specialized technical assistance addressing emerging issues such as trauma-informed care, the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment, culturally-specific domestic violence services, and effective interventions for children exposed to domestic violence.