Shaheen Secures $760 Million for Violence Against Women Programs in CJS Appropriations Bill, Highest Funding Level Ever to Support Survivors of Domestic & Sexual Violence
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement federal funding legislation released by the Appropriations Committee for the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) for fiscal year (FY) 2022. Through her leadership on the CJS subcommittee, Shaheen secured – for the fifth year in a row – the highest funding level ever for Violence Against Women Act programs, totaling $760 million. This is a 48 percent increase from last year’s funding level and will support training officials, rape prevention programs, processing rape kits, domestic violence hotlines and women’s shelters and transitional housing support services. Funding would be provided for several new initiatives, including a restorative justice program, a National Deaf Services Line and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys to address violence against women in Indian Country.
In addition, the bill would provide $2.65 billion to be released through the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) for services and programs that will help survivors in our communities. This is an increase of $635 million for the CVF compared to last year’s funding levels.
“The danger facing victims of domestic and sexual violence intensified during the pandemic, and as we turn the corner on COVID we must deliver resources to survivors. Stopping these serious crimes — and providing a pathway for survivors to heal and seek justice – has never been more important. That’s why, as Chair of this Subcommittee, securing robust funding for the Office on Violence Against Women is always a top priority for me,” said Shaheen. “I’m pleased to announce the largest funding levels ever for critical VAWA programs in this government funding legislation. This funding will bolster victims programs like transitional housing, legal assistance and crisis hotlines, as well as strengthen the capacity of law enforcement agencies to hold perpetrators accountable and combat violence. I’m committed to ensuring survivors aren’t left alone as they grapple with these traumatic experiences – support is available, and they have a fighter in me in the Senate.”
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 spearheaded efforts to protect survivors and help them seek justice. Last year, Shaheen successfully added the highest funding amount ever for Violence Against Women Act programs in fiscal year (FY) 2021 government funding legislation that was signed into law. Shaheen recently called on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to include funding for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs in the reconciliation package.
Throughout the pandemic, Senator Shaheen has worked to provide more resources and services to domestic violence survivors nationwide. She recently introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Grassley (R-IA) that would help ensure federal rights for survivors of sexual assault – which were codified by Shaheen’s Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act – are recognized and protected at the state level. She also helped lead calls to Congressional leadership to include additional funding to support the victims of child abuse, domestic violence and dating violence in COVID-19 response legislation. Earlier this year, she pushed for a swift vote in the Senate to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which expired two years ago, after the House passed the legislation. Last year, she visited the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence (NHCADSV) in Concord, where she met with NHCADSV’s leadership and representatives from crisis centers to hear more about the impact COVID-19 has had on survivors and the state’s crisis centers.