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December 3, 2010

(December 3, 2010) Washington, DC – NNEDV and victim advocates across the country applaud the U.S. Senate for passing the bill to reauthorize the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVSPA) as part of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).  This bill will help keep domestic violence shelters open so that victims and their children can find safety and support when fleeing abusive homes. 

“The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act is the cornerstone of our nation’s response to domestic violence, providing lifesaving services to victims of domestic violence and their children.  The Senate’s work is a vital step toward ensuring that local domestic violence programs can continue to save lives and prevent future violence,” said Sue Else, president of NNEDV. 

NNEDV especially recognizes Senators Dodd, Harkin, Enzi, and Alexander and all the members of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee for their remarkable leadership in passing FVPSA.  FVPSA is the only dedicated federal funding source for domestic violence shelters and services.  For 25 years, FVPSA-funded programs have been supporting emergency shelters, crisis hotlines, counseling services, victim assistance initiatives and programs for underserved communities.  The Act expired in 2008.  The new bill will build upon FVPSA’s core strengths and include critical improvements that will allow more victims to receive the services they desperately need.   

“When victims decide to seek help, it is absolutely essential that they receive the resources they need to keep themselves and their families safe and secure,” said Else.  “We applaud the Committee’s support of survivors of domestic violence.  We urge the U.S. House of Representatives to swiftly pass this vital legislation and send it to the President for his signature before the end of the year. ” 

There are more than 2,000 community-based domestic violence programs providing emergency shelter to approximately 300,000 victims and their children every year.  Local domestic violence programs also provide non-residential services such as counseling, legal assistance and prevention education to millions of men, women, and children each year.