ICYMI: OP-ED: Blunt Rochester & Thompson Call for Swift Senate Passage of FVSPA

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Washington, November 1, 2018 | Kyle Morse (202-695-0494) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), authored an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer urging the Senate to swiftly pass funding for essential domestic violence services by quickly reauthorizing H.R. 6014, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). If you or someone you know is being abused, support and help are available. Visit National Domestic Violence Hotline's website or call 1-800-799-7233.

Reps. Blunt Rochester and Thompson introduced the bipartisan FVPSA, alongside Reps. Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY). The bill passed the House of Representatives unanimously on September 28, 2018 and is currently awaiting action in the Senate.

Full text of the op-ed is below:

“Every minute in the United States, 20 people will be abused by an intimate partner. That's more than 10 million people per year.

“The numbers are staggering: one in four women — and one in seven men — have experienced severe physical abuse by a partner, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.  Yet the issue has been cast into the background throughout most of our history, remaining a hidden problem.

“Survivors of domestic violence have often lived through physical, mental, and emotional abuse in silence out of fear their spouses or partners would retaliate.

“In the 1970s, former battered women, civics organizations, and professionals began to open shelters to provide services to abused women and their children. After seeing the great results from these efforts, Congress led a series of hearings in the early 1980s to understand the scope of this violence and explore possible responses. Congress would eventually pass legislation touching on all facets of domestic abuse.

“As part of the Child Abuse Amendments of 1984, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act – or FVPSA – was enacted to support life-saving services including, emergency shelters, crisis hotlines, counseling, and programs for underserved communities throughout the United States, including U.S. territories.  Survivors finally had somewhere to turn to escape their abusers.

“That's why we proudly introduced H.R. 6014, which reauthorizes the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act for an additional five years. The House of Representatives approved it unanimously at the end of September. It now awaits action in the U.S. Senate, and we hope it will be swiftly passed to ensure there is no lapse in funding for these essential services.

“Congress sets aside funding for three purposes under FVPSA that include:

“A national domestic hotline which receives calls for assistance related to domestic violence.

“Direct services, like housing, counseling, legal advocacy, and referrals, through state grants for victims of domestic violence and their children.

“And efforts to prevent domestic violence through a program known as the Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Allies.

“Domestic abuse comes in many forms and it does not discriminate: men, women, children, and people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses can be victims.

“The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and the National Domestic Violence Hotline are two organizations that serve domestic violence victims and survivors thanks to the reauthorization of our bill.

“Millions of individuals turn to the hotline for help in times of crisis. FVPSA keeps the hotline open and the funding allowed it to answer more than four million calls, texts, and chats from people affected by domestic and dating abuse. We must ensure this resource continues to provide critical support to those in need.

“As a society, we must have zero tolerance for domestic violence. All victims and survivors must be helped and heard.  Reauthorizing this federal funding is one step toward helping millions receive the life-saving services and support they need to take a stand against domestic abuse and violence and say, "no more."”

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