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NNEDV’s 14th Annual Domestic Violence Counts Report Illuminates Ongoing Gaps in Services and Need for Policy Changes

March 10, 2020

Today, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) announces the findings from its 14th Annual Domestic Violence Counts Report at a bipartisan Congressional briefing in Washington, DC. The 14th Annual Domestic Violence Counts Report provides an unduplicated snapshot of the services requested and provided across the country in a 24-hour period.

“The Domestic Violence Counts Report sheds light on the tremendous work of advocates at local domestic violence programs, who provide life-saving services every single day. This report shines a light on the harrowing circumstances survivors face and highlights their inspiring resilience and courage,” said Deborah J. Vagins, President and CEO of NNEDV. “Yet, domestic violence programs simply do not have enough funding to help every survivor who reaches out for help. This is unacceptable. The status quo is dangerous and unjust. Urgent public policy changes are needed.”

Today’s briefing is held in cooperation with Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA), and moderated by Deborah J. Vagins. The event will feature remarks from Dawn Dalton, Deputy Director, DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV); Mercedes Lemp, Executive Director, My Sister’s Place; and Kiesha Preston, a mom, survivor, and advocate from Virginia.

“We are better advocates for domestic violence survivors when we understand their needs,” said Rep. Gwen Moore. “That’s why I am so grateful for the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s annual report, which captures the accounts of survivors and their children, and emphasizes the importance of funding programs that will keep them safe.”

NNEDV began conducting the Domestic Violence Counts one-day survey fourteen years ago in order to provide accurate information about how many survivors seek support from domestic violence programs, without compromising survivors’ safety or confidentiality. It is the only one-day unduplicated count of domestic violence services requested by adults and children across the United States in a 24-hour period.

“Domestic violence is an issue that has become too common in our society. Last year, I joined my colleague, Rep. Karen Bass, to introduce the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, to protect women and children from abuse and anguish,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “There is still considerable work to be done, but the House has been doing excellent work to combat domestic violence. I am proud of the work being done today, and I look forward to this continued progress.”

The 14th Annual Domestic Violence Counts Report found:

    • 42,964 adult and child victims found refuge in emergency shelters, transitional housing, or other housing provided by local domestic violence programs.
    • 34,262 victims received non-residential assistance and services, including counseling, legal advocacy, children’s support groups, and more.77,226 adult and child victims of domestic violence were served in one day, including:
  • Victims made 11,336 requests for services – including emergency shelter, housing, transportation, childcare, legal representation, and more – that could not be provided because programs lacked the resources to meet victims’ needs.

“As a mom on the brink of homelessness after ending an abusive relationship, I reached out to TAP Domestic Violence Services,” said Kiesha Preston, Virginia resident and panelist at the Domestic Violence Counts Report Briefing. “They stood by me and helped me to secure housing, accompanied me to court, provided support and counseling. I am safe now and grateful to have a place to call home for me and my children. That not everyone gets the help they need is a serious injustice.”

Policy changes are needed, which can help ensure life-saving services are available for survivors, such as:

  • Increasing funding for and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to include economic justice provisions, homicide prevention programs, and resources for survivors facing complex challenges;
  • Increasing funding for and reauthorizing the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) to bolster existing programs, reach underserved communities, and expand statewide prevention efforts;
  • Stabilizing the Crime Victims Fund and raise the cap to distribute more funds to the field; and
  • Enacting policies to help rebuild survivors’ lives, including increased workplace protections and access to housing, childcare, transportation, legal assistance, and comprehensive services that are tailored to survivors’ needs and local concerns.

“NNEDV’s annual Domestic Violence Counts survey highlights just how necessary our domestic violence programs are and how critical it is that they have adequate funding and resources,” said Rep. Lucy McBath. “Domestic violence touches every community in our country, and I want to thank NNEDV for continuing to advocate for survivors.”

Year after year, state and local advocates, national experts, journalists and reporters, and policymakers from both sides of the aisle rely on the Domestic Violence Counts Report as a trusted source of data about the realities faced by advocates and survivors every day.

Learn more:

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The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), a nonprofit charitable organization, is a leading voice against violence. NNEDV is dedicated to creating a social, political, and economic environment in which domestic violence no longer exists. NNEDV’s members include the 56 state and U.S. territorial coalitions against domestic violence, which have more than 2,000 local programs. NNEDV is a premiere national organization that has worked to advance the movement against domestic violence for thirty years, having led efforts to pass the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and to reauthorize and strengthen countless laws and regulations to increase safety and end violence. To learn more about NNEDV, please visit www.NNEDV.org.