Action is needed on the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act
DCADV, Director of Advocacy & Policy
I recall first learning about the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) as a child welfare administrator. At the time, my work included administering grants associated with the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). As a relatively new social worker, it was comforting to know that the federal government recognized the issues of family violence, and was sending funds to states and territories to treat and prevent it. Since then, FVPSA and CAPTA have been reauthorized multiple times most recently in FFY 2010, and what this means is that FVPSA’s authorization expired in 2015 leaving survivor safety in jeopardy. Fortunately, advocates across the country, including our partners at NNEDV, have been working to advance reauthorization to continue existing good work while making improvements to FVPSA’s statutory language and expanding access to lifesaving service funds.
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act continues to be an essential piece of legislation that survivors of domestic violence, family violence, and dating violence rely on for safety and services. FVPSA helps communities address domestic violence and serve victims through grants that support:
- Local shelters and programs for adults and children escaping violence;
- State and territorial domestic violence coalitions to coordinate state-wide initiatives to address domestic violence;
- Tribal governments to provide essential services to native survivors;
- the Domestic Violence Resource Network for training and technical assistance;
- the National DV Hotline;
- Competitive DELTA Prevention Grants to develop strategies to stop abuse before it starts.
But we know from survivors and service programs that requests for help go unmet each day. We know the current status is not good enough, which is why the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence is working with the NNEDV and others to push legislation that will expand FVPSA through policy enhancements, increased funding authorization levels, and increased annual appropriations.
We urge you to join us in raising awareness of the needs of domestic violence victims and their children and help us move Congress to action on FVPSA. To learn more about the Bipartisan FVPSA Improvement Act (H.R. 2119 and S. 1275), NNEDV has created fact sheets and resources to help you advocate. We are grateful for the support of Rep. Lisa Blunt-Rochester as the House passed the FVPSA Improvement Act earlier this year. Next, it’s vital for the Senate to act, and Delawareans need Senators Carper and Coons to make family violence prevention a priority.