Our priorities for the 115th Congress include:
Funding & Appropriations – Together, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund create and support comprehensive responses to the needs of victims of domestic violence.
Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) creates and supports comprehensive, effective, and cost saving responses to the crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. VAWA programs, administered by the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services, have dramatically changed federal, tribal, state, and local responses to these crimes. The recent 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act closes critical gaps in justice and improves upon lifesaving services for all victims.
In addition to working on these priority issues, NNEDV tracks the following policy areas and laws that are essential to preventing and addressing the long-term impact of domestic violence on victims and their families. These policy areas can directly or indirectly affect victims and survivors of domestic violence. NNEDV works to ensure that federal law is protecting and supporting victims and survivors of domestic violence in every aspect of their lives.
Children & Youth – Young people are affected by domestic violence and dating violence as both victims and witnesses. One half to two-thirds of residents in domestic violence shelters are children.
Confidentiality – It is essential that victims can flee violence and access domestic violence services without being vulnerable to tracking by an abusive partner.
Economic Justice – Too often victims must choose between staying in an abusive relationship or facing economic hardship when leaving.
Family Violence Prevention & Services Act (FVPSA) – The only source of federal funds dedicated directly to domestic violence shelters and programs, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Housing – 63 percent of homeless women have been victims of domestic violence. Many women and children struggle to find permanent housing after leaving an abusive relationship.
Immigration – Immigrant victims face a number of obstacles when seeking help including language and cultural barriers.
VAWA Confidentiality – VAWA provides specific confidentiality protections for victims.
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) – The VOCA Fund is derived entirely from fines and penalties paid by offenders at the federal level, not taxpayer revenue, and is largely distributed to the states through a formula grant. The state money funds both crime victim compensation funds and victim assistance grants.