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NNEDV Urges Swift Passage of Bill to Reauthorize FVPSA to Fund Life-saving Services

November 14, 2019

Introduction of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) in the U.S. House of Representatives is a step toward increased safety for survivors

Representative Lucy McBath (D-GA), joined by Representatives Tom Cole (R-OK), Gwen Moore (D-WI), and John Katko (R-NY) introduced H.R. 5041, a bill to reauthorize and expand the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). This important legislation, companion to bipartisan S. 2259 in the U.S. Senate, would increase survivors’ access to emergency shelter, crisis counseling, legal assistance, and other life-saving services.

“FVPSA is at the heart of our nation’s response to domestic violence services,” said Cindy Southworth, Executive Vice President and Interim CEO at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). “Because of FVPSA, local domestic violence programs are able to keep providing shelter to adult and child victims fleeing violence.”

FVPSA, first enacted in 1984, is the only federal funding source solely dedicated to domestic violence shelters and programs. It provides critical funding to help support more than 1,600 community-based programs respond to the urgent needs of more than 1.3 million domestic violence survivors and their children each year.

However, the need for services continues to outpace FVPSA-funded services’ capacity and reach. The 13th annual Domestic Violence Counts report found that FVPSA-funded domestic violence programs served 74,823 victims of domestic violence in just one day in 2018. However, on the same day, there were 9,183 unmet requests for services due to lack of funding. Resources can sometimes be limited in rural communities, culturally-specific communities, and tribal communities, due to their more limited access to FVPSA funds.

H.R. 5041 would authorize funds to bolster existing services while expanding access to tribes, tribal coalitions working to end domestic violence, culturally-specific programs, and other underserved communities. It would also invest in domestic violence prevention by increasing support for existing evidence-based, community projects and by funding new initiatives to more communities nationwide.

“On the heels of FVPSA’s 35th anniversary, NNEDV applauds the House & Senate for working in a bipartisan manner to promote survivor safety and prevent domestic violence through H.R. 5041,” said Southworth. “H.R.5041 makes strides towards addressing the current and growing needs of all survivors, including prevention. We urge both chambers to swiftly pass these bills into law and to significantly increase annual appropriations to ensure every survivor and child can escape abuse, and communities can work towards eradicating domestic violence once and for all.”