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September 22, 2010

Washington DC (September 22, 2010) NNEDV welcomed an important step on Capitol Hill.  U.S. Senators Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) introduced S. 3817, a bill to reauthorize the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. 

This is the only U.S. federal legislation with dedicated funding for domestic violence shelters and other local programs.  The bill’s introduction in September 2010 is a critical step toward ensuring the continuation and improvement of lifesaving services to victims of domestic violence. 

“This legislation is the foundation of our nation’s response to domestic violence,” said Sue Else, NNEDV’s president.  “It is essential that the federal government continue its commitment to preventing and ending domestic violence by passing this bill.”    

In addition to providing critical funding, the bill reauthorizes the National Domestic Violence Hotline and grants that help to prevent domestic violence. The bill also creates a program to provide services for children exposed to violence in their homes and communities – a critical measure aimed at stopping intergenerational cycles of violence.    

Domestic violence is at the heart of many of our nation’s pressing social ills, yet domestic violence programs do not have the resources they need to adequately serve victims. In one day alone, NNEDV found that local programs provided lifesaving services to more than 65,000 adults and children.  During that same 24-hour period, however, more than 9,000 requests for services went unmet largely because of lack of funding.    

“We applaud Senator Dodd’s leadership on this bill and look forward to working with the House and Senate as they work to pass a bill that addresses the needs of all victims,” said Else. “We urge Congress to make this vital legislation a top priority and pass it before the year’s end.” 

The House version of the bill was introduced in November 2009.