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Shaheen Negotiates Highest Funding Level Ever for Violence Against Women Act Programs in Government Funding Bill

** More than a year into his presidency, Trump still hasn’t nominated anyone to serve as the Director of the Office on Violence Against Women** 

SHAHEEN: “These are lifesaving programs, and I’ll keep fighting to get them the resources they need to serve women in our communities across the country.”

(Washington, DC)— U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after procuring federal funds for the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) at the Department of Justice in the bipartisan omnibus government funding bill for fiscal year 2018. Shaheen secured $492 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 omnibus funding bill also provides $47.5 million for a grant program to support comprehensive reforms regarding sexual assault and reducing the backlog of rape kits. In addition, the bill provides $4.6 billion to be released through the Crime Victims Fund for services and programs that will help victims in our communities. This is an increase of $8.5 million for the OVW and $1 billion for the Crime Victims Fund compared to last year’s funding levels.

“Funding the Office on Violence Against Women and supporting the programs it manages are critically important to the health and safety of women and families across the nation, and will always be a top priority for me,” said Shaheen. “Every year, millions of women throughout the United States are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, yet this administration has failed to nominate someone to lead the agency tasked with interrupting, responding to and combating these crimes – that is unconscionable. These are lifesaving programs, and I’ll keep fighting to get them the resources they need to serve women in our communities across the country.”

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.

Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to safeguard the Office on Violence Against Women and programs operated under the Violence Against Women Act. In 2016, President Obama signed Shaheen’s landmark legislation into law, establishing new rights for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. The only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen has been a relentless advocate for women and girls in the United States and around the world. Last year, Senator Shaheen led the bipartisan effort to reintroduce the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), which would ensure combatting gender-based violence around the world remains a top diplomatic and development priority for the United States.