White House Budget Proposal Supports Lifesaving Programs for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence
February 17, 2011
NNEDV commended President Barack Obama for his 2012 budget proposal. The fiscally-responsible plan increases funding for programs that prevent and end violence against women and girls.
“During a time of tough budget decisions, we applaud President Obama and Vice President Biden for their support of lifesaving programs for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating abuse, and stalking,” said Sue Else, NNEDV’s president. “Victim advocates across the country are excited that the Obama Administration so clearly demonstrates its leadership on these issues.”
An NNEDV survey revealed that during one 24-hour period in 2010, more than 70,000 victims received lifesaving services at domestic violence programs nationwide. Unfortunately, during that same 24-hour period more than 9,500 requests for services went unmet largely due to lack of funding. The president’s proposed investment in these programs will help local domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers respond to more victims who are fleeing abuse.
The president’s budget proposal increases funding for cost-effective programs by $175 million, an investment that will save lives and taxpayers’ money. Programs included in these targeted investments are:
- the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, the only federal funding source dedicated to domestic violence shelters and programs;
- the Sexual Assault Services Program, federal funding for victim services; and
- programs serving children affected by domestic violence.
The president’s proposal allocates funding from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) fund toward emergency shelters, transitional housing and rape crisis services. VOCA is a non-taxpayer source of funding derived entirely from fines and penalties paid by perpetrators.
“This smart, targeted investment proposal would assist programs across the country in responding to the needs of victims and ultimately save lives. We commend the president for investing in these lifesaving and cost-saving programs,” said Else.
“We look forward to working with Congress throughout the budget process to implement the president’s responsible plan and ensure that the final budget invests in all programs that serve victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking," she concluded.
The president's budget proposal also sets aside $9 million from existing funding sources for the creation of a new domestic violence homicide prevention program. Domestic violence-related homicides occur at a staggering rate, with an average of three women killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner. The proposed program will use evidence-based tools to identify high risk-cases and intervene to keep victims and their children safe.