In Funding Agreement, Shaheen Secures Additional Money for Violence Against Women Act Programs

May 01, 2017

**In January, reports indicated that the Trump administration planned to eliminate the Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice as part of widespread cuts at federal agencies**

 **SHAHEEN: “Amidst the partisan rancor, last night’s agreement demonstrates a bipartisan resolve to end violence against women in our country”**

(Washington, DC)— U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), lead Democrat of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, released the following statement after securing additional funds for the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) at the Department of Justice in the government funding bill released last night. The bill contains $481.5 million, the highest funding level ever, for grants provided by OVW including state domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions, rape prevention programs, domestic violence hotlines, support training for police officers and prosecutors, and women’s shelters and transitional housing support services. The bill also provides $45 million for a grant program to support comprehensive reforms, including reducing the backlog of rape kits. Shaheen has been a leading voice in the Senate supporting the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which authorizes the Office on Violence Against Women, and establishing new rights for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.  

“The Violence Against Women Act is a proven tool to combat domestic and sexual violence, and I’m very proud that this bill provides the highest-ever level of funding for the Office on Violence Against Women’s life-changing, lifesaving initiatives,” said Senator Shaheen. “Violence against women is a serious threat in homes and communities across the country: one in three women in the U.S. have been physically abused by an intimate partner and one out of every five American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape. Amidst the partisan rancor, last night’s agreement demonstrates a bipartisan resolve to end violence against women in our country.”

In January, Shaheen pushed back on reports that the Trump administration was planning to eliminate the OVW at the as part of widespread cuts at federal agencies, calling the suggestion “extremely disturbing.” In February, Shaheen joined a bipartisan group of Senators calling on the Trump administration to champion VAWA programs in the President’s budget request.

The Office on Violence Against Women, authorized by the Violence Against Women Act that was originally signed into law in 1994 with broad bipartisan support, administers grants to programs aimed at reducing domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking by strengthening services to victims and holding offenders accountable.  Senator Shaheen was a leading voice in the Senate for reauthorizing these programs in the 113th Congress. A report released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that between 1993 to 2010, spanning nearly two decades after the Violence Against Women Act was signed into law, the overall rate of intimate partner violence in the U.S. declined by 64 percent.