Family Violence Prevention & Services Act
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) supports lifesaving services for victims of domestic violence and their children, including emergency shelters, crisis hotlines, counseling, and programs for underserved communities throughout the United States, American Indian and Alaska Native communities, and territories. First authorized in 1984 and administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FVPSA is the only federal funding source dedicated to domestic violence shelters and programs.
Over 1,500 local domestic violence programs rely on FVPSA funding to keep their doors open to more than 1.3 million victims seeking safety each year. A multi-state study, funded by the National Institute of Justice, shows conclusively that the nation’s domestic violence shelters are addressing both the urgent safety needs of victims and their long-term needs, including economic stability. NNEDV’s 16th Annual Domestic Violence Counts Report found that, on just one day in 2021, more than 70,000 domestic violence victims and their children received essential services ranging from shelter to counseling to legal advocacy. However, on that same day, more than 9,000 requests for services went unmet due to lack of resources.
Despite FVPSA’s great promise, it is clear that community-based domestic violence programs cannot meet the overwhelming demand for services without additional resources.
There is an unconscionable gap between desperate need and available resources. Increased federal investment in domestic violence programs is needed to ensure that local programs can help all survivors who reach out for help. We urge Congress to fund FVPSA at $500 million.
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) expired in 2015 and must be reauthorized with key improvements.
On October 26, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2119, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act (FVPSA Improvement) by a bipartisan vote of 228 to 200. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) applauds Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and the bill’s lead sponsors, Representatives Lucy McBath (D-GA), Don Young (R-AK), Gwen Moore (D-WI), and John Katko (R-NY) for their leadership, and every Member who voted for H.R. 2119. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced a companion bill (S. 1275) on April 21, 2021 and in July of 2021, it was passed out of the Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee. H.R. 2119 and S. 1275 include key enhancements to increase the funding authorization level, expand support for and access to culturally specific programs, strengthen the capacity of Indian tribes, and meaningfully invest in prevention, among other enhancements.