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April 29, 2009

NNEDV today applauded the swearing-in of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The swearing-in and the U.S. Senate's 65-31 confirmation vote are victories for domestic violence victims and advocates across the country.

"The National Network to End Domestic Violence could not be happier that Secretary Sebelius hit the ground running at the Department of Health and Human Services," said Sue Else, president of NNEDV. "Secretary Sebelius understands how important domestic violence services are and has long been an ally in the movement to end domestic abuse."

For the 2009 fiscal year, the Department of Health and Human Services invested $180.4 million in domestic violence programs. The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 and the Family Violence and Prevention Services Act of 2003 authorize up to $295 million for domestic violence services administered by the Department of Health and Human Services through 2010.

"Secretary Sebelius takes the helm of Health and Human Services at such a critical time," Else said. "Key to recovering from economic turmoil is to invest in life-saving services like domestic violence shelters, crisis hotlines, and quality health care coverage."

Difficult economic times can exacerbate the severity and frequency of domestic abuse. Advocates have seen a significant increase in the demand for services in recent months.

"Increasingly more victims are asking for help, and we look forward to working with Secretary Sebelius to meet the tragically high demand," Else said. "Secretary Sebelius' proven record and leadership are optimistic signs for the future of domestic violence services nationwide."

April 29, 2009