(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02) announced an additional $2,441,735 in grants from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women. Shaheen, the lead Democrat of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, has led efforts in Congress to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and has secured historic federal funding through the yearly appropriations process to fund the Office on Violence Against Women. The New Hampshire delegation previously announced $449,139 to Strafford County, and the additional grants announced today include $1,447,290 to the State of New Hampshire, $457,243 to Grafton County, $238,112 to the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and $299,090 to the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success. The grant funding awarded to New Hampshire for Fiscal Year 2018 totals $2,890,874.
“Our community partners in New Hampshire provide life-saving support and care for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, so boosting investments in their programs is critical,” said Shaheen. “Securing federal funding to support organizations that provide crucial services for survivors will always be a top priority for me, and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll continue to work across the aisle to deliver the resources community partners need to help survivors in New Hampshire and across the country.”
“We must support the survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking, and ensure that their perpetrators are brought to justice,” said Hassan. “I am pleased to announce these grants to New Hampshire, totaling nearly $2.9 million, which will help strengthen law enforcement’s efforts to investigate these heinous crimes and provide services for survivors to help them through their recovery.”
“These grants from the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women will help our state address the backlog of sexual assault kits while better supporting the survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence,” said Shea-Porter. “I am pleased that our state will be receiving significant federal funding to support law enforcement efforts to strengthen responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, and dating violence. I have always supported fully funding these important programs. Congress needs to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and increase funding for Justice Department efforts to reduce violence against women.”
“I’m pleased that New Hampshire will be receiving these critical resources to support survivors and families during their most difficult moments,” said Kuster, the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “These grants are going to effective partners in the fight against domestic and sexual violence who are making a real difference in the lives of impacted Granite State families. I will continue to support their efforts and push for a much needed reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.”
“VAWA is a life-saving source of funding for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in New Hampshire,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, Director of Public Affairs, New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (NHCADSV). “The Coalition’s 13 crisis centers rely on VAWA to protect children, strengthen and rebuild families, and prevent future violence in our state. The high prevalence of violence against women in New Hampshire has serious consequences that affect the safety and well-being of our communities, and with funding from VAWA, we are able to continue our collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to ending domestic and sexual violence in our state. We are grateful to our entire Federal Delegation for their longstanding commitment to funding programs that advance public safety and help survivors and their children seek independence from abuse.”
Senator Shaheen has been a fierce advocate for survivors of domestic violence, leading efforts in Congress to safeguard the Office on Violence Against Women and programs operated under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). In 2016, President Obama signed Shaheen’s landmark legislation into law, establishing new rights for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Last year, Senator Shaheen led the bipartisan effort to reintroduce the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), which would ensure combating gender-based violence around the world remains a top diplomatic and development priority for the United States. In government spending legislation for fiscal year 2019, Shaheen once again secured the highest funding amount ever for VAWA programs, totaling $497.5 million dollars. The legislation passed the Senate Appropriations Committee in June.
Last July, Congresswomen Shea-Porter and Kuster co-introduced the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2018. Last February, Shea-Porter co-introduced the International Violence Against Women Act, co-sponsored by Kuster. Shea-Porter also co-introduced the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act, which would close loopholes that have allowed convicted stalkers to buy firearms. Shea-Porter and Kuster have fought for increased funding for VAWA programs, and last March, they wrote to Congressional Appropriators to support the Department of Justice’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, which aims to reduce the backlog of untested sexual assault kits. Kuster is the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, which in September brought together Members of Congress and advocates for a roundtable on the importance of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
Without action by Congress, the Violence Against Women Act will expire in December. Senator Shaheen was a leading voice in the Senate for reauthorizing VAWA in 2013, when the program was last reauthorized.