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December 20, 2010

NNEDV commended President Barack Obama for signing into law the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act.  The legislation is the only dedicated federal funding for domestic violence service programs nationwide. It passed on Capitol Hill as part of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, and President Obama signed it today.

“We applaud President Obama and his administration for once again standing up for survivors of domestic violence,” said Sue Else, NNEDV’s president.  “The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act provides crucial investments in effective, lifesaving domestic violence services.” 

Since the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act expired in 2008, NNEDV and its member coalitions against domestic violence in every state and U.S. territory have staunchly advocated for its reauthorization.  It provides much-needed funding for domestic violence shelters, crisis hotlines, counseling, and other services that support survivors of domestic violence and their children.  Approximately 400,000 adults and children access services funded through this legislation annually at more than 1,500 shelters and outreach centers.     

“President Obama’s administration yet again illustrated its tremendous support for domestic violence victims,” said Else.  “The federal government makes it clear that domestic violence is a serious issue and comprehensive services need to be available to survivors.” 

In addition to supporting the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, President Obama and Vice President Biden have created the White House Council on Women and Girls and named the first-ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Lynn Rosenthal.   

“A special thanks also goes to the U.S. House and Senate,” said Else.  “Without the bold bipartisan leadership of our allies in Congress, today’s accomplishment would not have been possible.” 

U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee Chair George Miller (D-CA), Ranking Member John Kline (R-MN), Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittee Chair Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Ranking Member Todd Platts (R-PA) were instrumental in shepherding the legislation through the House.  Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) strongly pushed for its passage and built early bipartisan support for the bill.   

The bill was championed through the U.S. Senate by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Chair of the Children and Families Subcommittee of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN).  HELP Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-WY) stood up for victims of domestic violence with their leadership on the bill.

To read the White House blog posting about the event, click here.


(L-R) Rita Smith, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Sen. Tom Harkin; Sen. Chris Dodd; NNEDV's Sue Else; David Hansell, Acting Asst. Sectretary for the Adminstration for Children and Families; President Barack Obama; Luz Marquez, National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault; Rep. George Miller ; Rep. Gwen Moore; Sen. Mike Enzi; Kiersten Stewart, Family Violence Prevention Fund