The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) – enacted in 1984 as Title lll of the Child Abuse Amendment, reauthorized and amended in 2010 – provides public awareness and prevention of family violence, services for domestic violence victims and their children, and training and resources to local agencies addressing this issue. FVPSA is the only US Federal funding source dedicated to supporting life-saving services provided by domestic violence programs, including emergency shelters, hotlines, transitional housing, counseling, legal services and many other vital services.
For more than 25 years, VAWA and FVPSA have made substantial progress toward ending domestic and sexual violence. Yet, increased awareness of these crimes and an improved criminal justice response has created an increased demand for services. Each year, domestic violence kills 2 million women and children and more than 15 million children in the United States alone are exposed to parental domestic violence.
With the current state of the economy, victim service agencies are struggling to handle the increased workload as more victims with fewer resources at their disposal seek assistance. In fact, a recent survey conducted by JWI found that in 2009, economic factors including a victim and/or abuser’s job loss and home foreclosure/eviction were the primary reasons for the increase demand for services. Exacerbating matters, during the FY 2010 state fiscal cycle, governors in at least 12 states cut funding for domestic violence and sexual assault services—thereby causing safety net programs in those states to close or reduce services. During the FY 2011 state fiscal cycle, the scope of state funding cuts is projected to increase.
In November 2009, H.R. 4116, a bill to reauthorize FVPSA, was introduced by Representatives Gwen Moore (D-WI), Aaron Schock (R-IL), Gregorio Sablan (I-MP) and Judy Biggert (R-IL) and had over 100 co-sponsors. In December 2010, FVPSA (S. 3817) was reauthorized by Congress and President Obama signed the bill into law.
Link to Final bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/thomas
Why FVPSA Funding Is Critically Needed:
- FVPSA supports life-saving emergency shelter, crisis lines, counseling, safety planning, legal assistance and preventative education to millions of adults and children annually.
- There is an unconscionable gap between desperate need and available resources. In just one day in 2009, 65,321 victims were served by 1,648 domestic violence programs. On that same day, however, over 9,000 requests for services when unmet because programs lack the necessary funding resources to meet the victims' needs. (Domestic Violence Counts 2009. A 24-hour census of domestic violence shelters and services NNEDV Report)
In FY10, the Health and Human Services appropriations bill increased FVPSA funding to $130.5, an increase of $ 2.8 million. Since FVPSA funding exceeded $130 million a portion of the funding will be used to focus resources on children exposed to violence who need counseling and other specialized services.
During the final days of the 111th Session of Congress, both the US House of Representatives and the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) which allocates federal funding at the FY10 level until March of 2011. $4 Million will be used for children exposed to violence and $6 million for adult services. JWI is working in coalition with our national partners including the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) and the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) to assure full funding of FVPSA.