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Category: State & Local News

July 30, 2010

 Emergency Shelters Provide Lifesaving Services to Survivors and their Children

Washington, D.C. (July 30, 2010)-- NNEDV today commended the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for approving $140 million for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA).  This vote on the Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) bill is a critical step toward securing an increased investment in lifesaving services in 2011. 

“A greater investment means that local domestic violence programs will be able to serve more survivors and save more lives,” said Sue Else, NNEDV’s president.  “We thank the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  In particular, we applaud LHHS Appropriations Chairman Tom Harkin and Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye for their remarkable leadership.” 

The bill, passed by the full Appropriations Committee, includes an 8-percent increase of $10 million for FVPSA formula funding to states, which is the only federal funding source dedicated to domestic violence shelters and programs. 

“This crucial funding keeps the lights on and doors open at domestic violence shelters, and current funding is far from meeting the demand for critical, effective services,” said Else.  

Despite funding shortages, NNEDV found that in one day alone, victim advocates served more than 65,000 people, half of whom sought emergency shelter.  However, in the same 24-hour period, more than 9,200 requests for services went unmet largely due to lack of funding.     

“The economy is exacerbating domestic violence, and there are fewer options for victims to escape,” said Else.  “A larger investment in lifesaving services would help to close the gap between the growing demand for services and available resources.”    

The bill also makes great strides toward preventing violence and addressing the needs of children.  The $140-million investment in FVPSA again triggers funding for specialized services for children who witness domestic violence, support that was first activated by the FY ‘10 appropriations.  The bill also includes $5 million for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and continued support for efforts to prevent future violence.  

NNEDV is celebrating the progress made in this step forward and will closely monitor the process as the bill moves to the floor of the U.S. Senate.   

“We look forward to working with Chairmen Inouye and Harkin, Ranking Member Thad Cochran and the members of the Appropriations Committee to maintain this investment in domestic violence shelters and other critical services,” said Else.   

Approximately 2.3 million people in the United States are victims of domestic violence each year.  One in four women will experience domestic violence at some point in her life, and on average three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.