House Passes Bill to Strengthen Domestic Violence Prevention Programs and Support Survivors

WASHINGTON – Today, the House passed landmark legislation that will strengthen domestic violence prevention programs and improve services for survivors. The Family Violence and Prevention Services Improvement Act (FVPSA) of 2021 – a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) – increases funding for crisis hotlines, emergency shelters, and other vital programs that have experienced a surge in demand during the pandemic. 

According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, in just one day in 2020, domestic violence programs were unable to meet 11,047 requests from survivors of domestic violence for shelter or supportive services.

The legislation upgrades and modernizes the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, which was the first federal law to provide resources for survivors of domestic violence and has been the primary source of federal funding for domestic violence shelters for nearly 40 years. This bill will increase funding for domestic violence prevention and services by an estimated 37 percent for state programs and 45 percent for Tribal communities. 

“The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act has been a central pillar in our fight against intimate partner violence,” said Chairman Scott. “Regrettably, these programs have been expired since the end of 2015, hindering their ability to meet the changing needs in our communities. We know the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of intimate partner violence and restricted access to critical services for survivors. This bill strengthens our fight against this public health crisis to support the survivors and prevent intimate partner violence from harming our communities.”

"The anguish of far too many survivors of domestic violence during this pandemic has been a painful and unshakeable reminder of our fundamental need to put an end to it," said Congresswoman McBath. "I am proud we were able to pass legislation that funds shelters, state domestic violence coalitions, a national domestic violence hotline, and national resource centers— this bill helps provide survivors a way up, a way out, and a way forward."

The Family Violence and Prevention Services Improvement Act (FVPSA) of 2021:

  • Shifts investments to increase prevention efforts, therefore reducing the rate of intimate partner violence and decreasing the funding needs for support services;
  • Increases dedicated resources for over-represented and underserved populations, including communities of color, Tribal communities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities; and
  • Ensures survivors can receive culturally appropriate, accessible services. 

For a fact sheet on the bill, click here

For a state-by-state estimate on increases in funding for shelter, services, and other support, click here





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