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Policy Issues

  • Victims of Crime Act

    US Capitol building

    The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund supports services to 4 million victims of all types of crimes annually, through 4,400 direct service agencies such as domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, and child abuse treatment programs. VOCA state assistance grants provide funding for crisis intervention, counseling, transportation, services for elder victims and victims with disabilities, volunteer coordinators, translation services, needs assessments, and other support services that help victims deal with the trauma and aftermath of a crime.

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  • Family Violence Prevention & Services Act

    US Capitol building

    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. It is the only federal funding source dedicated to domestic violence shelters and programs.

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  • Violence Against Women Act

    US Capitol building

    The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) creates and supports comprehensive, cost-effective responses to the pervasive and insidious crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. VAWA 2013 ensured the continuation and improvement of these vital, lifesaving programs and expanded provisions to meet the needs of more victims.

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  • Funding & Appropriations

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    Federal funding for VAWA, VOCA, and FVPSA has enhanced federal, tribal, state and local responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking, and supported lifesaving emergency shelters and services for domestic violence victims and other crime victims. Increased funding is essential to ensure that programs across the country can keep the lights on, answer crisis calls, and provide essential services for victims fleeing violence.

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  • Technology Policy

    Technology has a major impact on survivors of abuse. It can be used by a victim to access help, to strategically maintain safety and privacy, and to remain connected to family and friends. It is often used to prove guilt and hold offenders accountable. Yet, technology, in its various forms, is also misused by abusers […]

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  • Policies Impacting Children, Youth, & Young Adults

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    Young people are affected by dating and domestic violence as both victims and witnesses. Victim service providers who primarily serve adults often lack the resources and expertise to address the unique needs of young people. However, policy solutions fostering prevention and intervention efforts can provide invaluable education and services for young people.

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  • Healthcare Policy

    Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault need a range of physical and mental health services, including preventive care, in order to heal and thrive. We encourage Congress to maintain access for all to high-quality, comprehensive health insurance that is guaranteed and affordable. Access to necessary medical and behavioral health services: Victims of violence and […]

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  • Immigration Policy

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    Immigrant victims of domestic violence – whether documented or undocumented – face a number of barriers when seeking safety and justice. While VAWA has taken steps to improve assistance to and services for immigrant victims of domestic violence, other federal immigration policies often drive victims further into the shadows.

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  • Policies to Prevent Domestic Violence Homicides

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    Every day in the United States, women are killed or severely injured due to the lethal combination of domestic violence abusers and guns. When abusers have access to firearms, not only women’s safety, but their very lives, are in danger.

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  • Economic Justice Policy

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    Personal safety and economic security are inextricably linked for victims of domestic violence. When survivors of domestic violence have stable access to resources that help them build economic resiliency, they and their families are much more likely to remain safe and secure.

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  • Housing Policy

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    Legislative Policies and Action VAWA Housing Programs Victims of domestic violence are often punished for the actions of their abusive partners. For example, victims of domestic violence living in public housing sometimes face unfair eviction and denial of housing benefits. The landmark housing provisions passed in the 2005 VAWA reauthorization are designed to protect victims […]

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  • The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Of 2013: Housing Protections (Section 601)

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    Learn more about how VAWA 2013 builds on landmark housing protections included in VAWA 2005 for survivors in federally-subsidized housing units/programs.

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  • Confidentiality

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    Victims of domestic violence are at greatest risk of homicide at the point of separation or after leaving their violent partner [i]. Research shows that most individuals (87% of the U.S. population) have characteristics that likely make them unique based only on 5-digit ZIP, gender, and date of birth [ii]. It is essential that victims […]

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