NNEDV calls on Presidential Candidates to address violence against women
August 25, 2008
In one year, domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking cost Americans more than $5.8 billion in human, social, criminal justice and medical costs. Approximately 1,200 women a year - three every day - die in the United States as a result of domestic violence. One in six women has experienced an attempted or completed rape. More than half of all rapes of women occur before they reach the age of 18. Over one million women are stalked annually in the U.S.
Children and youth are particularly vulnerable to such violence. Approximately 15.5 million children witness domestic violence every year. And young women, between the ages of 16 - 24 years of age, experience the highest rate of domestic violence victimization.
The statistics overwhelmingly indicate that women are disproportionately impacted by these crimes which ultimately devastate our families and communities. We cannot afford to ignore the costs these crimes exact in our homes, workplaces and society.
In just one day in 2007, over 53,000 adults and children were served by domestic violence programs across the country. On that same day, however, over 7,700 requests for services went unmet because programs lacked the necessary resources to provide services. NNEDV calls on John McCain and Barack Obama to support the vital Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). FVPSA must be reauthorized and fully funded to help close the unconscionable gap in services that forces thousands of domestic violence victims and their children to remain in unsafe environments.
"FVPSA is the only federal program that funds basic, lifesaving domestic violence services including: emergency shelter, crisis intervention, hotlines, safety planning, counseling, legal services, specialized services for children, as well as such basic necessities as clothing, food and transportation. An expedient reauthorization is needed to ensure that families in crisis can establish lives free from the devastating impact of domestic violence," stated Sue Else, President of NNEDV.
NNEDV also urges Senators McCain and Obama to support the full funding of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which funds and helps communities, courts, nonprofit organizations, and police in their efforts to combat domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. VAWA funds and encourages coordinated community responses, improved criminal justice responses, and lifesaving services for victims and their children.
"While we celebrate the great efforts that have transformed the lives of countless victims over the last 30 years, we call on the next president to provide greater funding for basic services at the state and local levels to ensure that all victims have a safe place to stay, someone to talk to and someone who will help," said Else.