NEARLY $ 800 MILLION IN US RESCUE PLAN SUPPORTS SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OR SEXUAL ASSAULT AND THEIR CHILDREN
Source: United States Health and Human Services
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October 30, 2021 (Washington DC) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is providing a total of $ 797.5 million in U.S. Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to support survivors of domestic violence and d sexual assault and their children.
Funds disbursed through the Office of Family and Youth Services (FYSB) of the Children and Families Administration (ACF) will cover COVD-19 tests, vaccines, mobile health units and ‘other support for domestic violence service programs, as well as increased support. for sexual assault service providers and culturally specific services.
Combined with the May grants, the Biden-Harris administration has invested nearly $ 1 billion in ARP funds in family violence prevention and service programs this year. These historic investments build on President Biden’s commitment throughout his public service to ending domestic violence, including his authorship of the Violence Against Women Act.
“We must do everything in our power to prevent and combat sexual violence and domestic violence. Today’s historic investment will usher in new partnerships and tools to meet the needs of survivors and their children, ”said Xavier Becerra, HHS Secretary.
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) program grants $ 550 million to beneficiaries to support COVID-19 tests, vaccines and mobile health units and address other needs resulting from the public health emergency COVID-19 for millions of victims of domestic violence nationwide. These funds will reduce barriers to health services that help mitigate the spread of the virus for survivors of domestic violence, including in rural communities and in geographically isolated Alaska Native villages, and promote health and well-being. be adults and children exposed to domestic violence. This historic investment will provide an additional 296 grants that will reach states, territories and tribes. Funding will reach thousands of programs across the country, including 1,500 local domestic violence shelters and 252 tribal domestic violence programs.
“Everyone deserves safe access to tests and vaccines; mobile health units strengthen the services and supports available to survivors, ”said JooYeun Chang, ACF Acting Assistant Secretary. “ACF is committed to working with communities to remove barriers to health services that survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their children may face.
Over the next week, HHS will also provide $ 198 million in additional ARP funding to help rape centers and sexual assault programs continue to adapt to meet the urgent needs of survivors. sexual assault. This additional funding can also be used to expand existing virtual, remote and emergency services for survivors. These funds will ensure the continuity of services to assist victims of rape throughout the country and strengthen the public health response to sexual violence in local communities.
The HHS will also provide $ 49.5 million in additional ARP funding to support community organizations that provide culturally appropriate activities and support for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence to meet emerging needs resulting from the emergency. health care COVID-19. This historic investment in ARP funding for survivors of culturally specific communities will create a multi-year funding source for underserved communities that experience a disproportionate prevalence of domestic violence, sexual violence and health disparities, as well as additional barriers. access to services.
These additional ARP grants give states, tribes, domestic violence programs, sexual violence programs, and culture-specific programs flexibility in how they use funding to support survivors and their children throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“Partnerships with local health services, medical clinics and health associations will strengthen the knowledge and expertise available to millions of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors seeking service and support in the event of crisis across the country, ”said FYSB Acting Associate Commissioner Debbie Powell.
Previously, on May 24, 2021, HHS had awarded $ 200 million in ARP funds to support FVPSA program recipients for immediate crisis response and safety planning services available to victims of domestic violence in all the countries ; reduce the prevalence of domestic violence in geographically isolated native Alaskan villages; and promote the resilience and healing of children exposed to domestic violence. The funding provided 296 additional grants that reached states / territories, tribes, state coalitions against domestic violence, national resource centers, recipients of specialized parent and child abuse services and helplines. national telephone numbers.
Since 1984, the FVPSA program has been an integral part of our country’s public health response to domestic violence, and it is the only federal funding stream dedicated to shelters and support services for victims of domestic violence and their children. . The program has provided funding, monitoring, training, technical assistance and advice to emergency shelters, hotlines, prevention programs and specialized resource centers – reaching a wide range of federal partners , state, local and tribal across the United States. domestic violence and sexual violence as significant public health epidemics, FVPSA funding expands the availability of community-based services and supports focused on safety planning and healing for individuals and families who survive. violence, trauma and abuse. Each year, state and tribal programs funded by the FVPSA serve more than 1.3 million victims and their dependents and respond to 2.7 million crisis calls. With these additional funds, FVPSA grant programs will be able to provide essential support to even more families across the country.