Supporting Survivors with Investments and Policy Change
October 3, 2022
October is an important month here at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)—and for state and territorial coalitions, local programs, advocates, and survivors across the country—as we gear up for a new Congress and recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). This year marks 35 years of DVAM and we’re looking forward to a month full of activities and ways to get people involved with our work to support survivors.
With October underway, the midterm elections are right around the corner. Survivors deserve support at every level of government; at the federal level, we need investments in strategies to advance access to safety, justice, and economic stability for survivors while reducing reliance on systems that are not helping all survivors.
As the 117th Congress comes to an end, we celebrate the incredible victories NNEDV—in partnership with advocates and survivors from coast to coast—achieved. At the beginning of this Congress, NNEDV released our priorities for the 117th Congress and we are heartened to see that much has been achieved. From increased annual federal appropriations in 2020 and 2021, the signing of the American Rescue Plan to support survivors during COVID-19, to the long-awaited Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization and the signing of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fix, to the partial closure of the “boyfriend loophole” in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, we are grateful to have achieved such monumental progress in just two short years.
But as the 117th Congress wraps up, there is still much we need to achieve. You can help NNEDV advance critical funding and policy needs by contacting your Senators and Representatives and asking them to take action key issues to support domestic violence survivors:
- Prioritize funding for survivors in Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) appropriations. Additional funding and resources are needed as Congress considers funding levels in its FY23 appropriations legislation. Urge Congress to invest in lifesaving services and prioritize federal funding to address and prevent domestic violence.
- Reauthorize the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). The FVPSA reauthorization passed the House in 2021. The FVPSA Improvement bill would bolster existing core victim services and shelters, while expanding access to Tribes, culturally specific programs, and other underserved communities, and meaningfully invest in prevention. Urge your Senator to vote on and pass the FVPSA Improvement Act, S.1275.
- Support economic justice policies. Recently, we commemorated the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month and Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, important reminders of the importance of centering and supporting domestic violence survivors of color. Racism and sexism compound existing inequalities, making it more difficult for these survivors to rebuild their lives after abuse. After experiencing financial abuse, many survivors struggle to support themselves and their children after leaving an abuser. Through the passage of legislation like the Healthy Families Act, the FAMILY Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Raise the Wage Act, the PRO Act, the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and the Equality Act, Congress can address essential economic justice policies including paid sick and safe leave, paid family medical leave, pay equity, living wage requirements, union rights, harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and LGBTQ+ workplace protections. Join our mailing list and be the first to know when it’s time to take action on these issues.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)
In addition to urging Congress for more investments, we can also take action in our communities. In partnership with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV), we’ve enhanced the #Every1KnowsSome1 DVAM campaign we launched in 2021, along with the #GiveForDV cause-based giving coalition for Giving Tuesday on November 29. The goal of these joint initiatives is to raise awareness, increase financial support and volunteer efforts, and deepen community engagement by connecting our work nationwide. We’ve kicked off the month strong, and there are still 28 days to go! Learn more and find our toolkit of materials here.
NNEDV is also proud to host our annual DVAM Week of Action October 17-23. From discussing the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV)’s DVAM theme (“No Survivor Justice Without Racial Justice”) with eleven amazing co-hosts during our bilingual Twitter Chat Tuesday, to filling our social media feeds with purple on Purple Thursday, we invite you to join us all week long.
There are many ways to support survivors this October and beyond. Whether it is urging Congress to support funding and policy change for survivors or joining us in DVAM actions, we hope you will take action. We are proud of how far we’ve come and we are committed to capitalizing on this forward movement throughout the rest of the year.
For peace and safety,
Deborah J. Vagins
NNEDV President and CEO