Family Violence Prevention & Services Act
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) supports lifesaving services 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 agencies rely on FVPSA-funding to keep their doors open to hundreds of thousands of 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 Census reports that on just one day in 2016, over 72,959 domestic violence victims and their children received essential services ranging from shelter to counseling to medical advocacy.
However, on that same day, 11,991 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.
There is an unconscionable gap between desperate need and available resources. Increased federal investment in domestic violence programs is needed for the survival of victims. We therefore urge Congress to fund FVPSA at its full authorization of $175 million.
FVPSA 2010 Reauthorization
The FVPSA reauthorization of 2010 built upon the successes of the existing program while making improvements to this vital legislation.
Overall, the bill maintained the core work of the FVPSA program, which includes:
- Formula grants to states to provide shelter and supportive services through subgrants to local domestic violence programs – local programs serve nearly a million adult and child victims annually
- National and specialized training and technical assistance resource centers
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline – often the first call victims make when fleeing a violent home
- Grants to the 56 state and territorial domestic violence coalitions, which coordinate state- and territory-wide domestic violence programs, provide essential outreach and technical assistance, and advocate for social change at both the state and federal levels
- A Tribal formula grant program – Native American women experience especially high rates of domestic violence.
Key improvements to FVPSA in 2010 include:
- A distinct definition of dating violence, based on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) definition, to ensure that all victims in danger can access services
- An expanded emphasis on prevention, by improving and statutorily defining the DELTA prevention program
- A newly authorized program for children who are exposed to domestic violence (the Specialized Services for Abused Parents and their Children program)
- Amendments to the state planning process to better involve the State and Territorial Domestic Violence Coalitions in planning and monitoring and to ensure that the needs of underserved populations are assessed and addressed with the participation from community-based organizations whose primary purpose is to provide culturally appropriate services to racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved populations
- A broadened definition of eligible entities for subgrants to allow for partnerships between domestic violence programs and community-based organizations with a history of providing culturally appropriate services to underserved populations
Click here for a more detailed analysis of FVPSA 2010.