Shaheen Statement on Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 01, 2020

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement as Domestic Violence Awareness month begins today:

“As Domestic Violence Awareness month begins this year, our efforts to bring attention to this systemic problem have never been more important. The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly difficult and dangerous for survivors, who due to stay-at-home orders and social distance guidelines, have struggled to stay safe away from their abusers. Now more than ever, we need to ensure our crisis centers have the funding necessary to provide resources, shelter, or legal assistance to those in need,” said Shaheen.

Shaheen continued, “Throughout this public health emergency, Granite Staters have done a tremendous job rising to challenges and looking out for one another, and that is especially critical for those who may have trouble seeking help, like domestic and sexual violence survivors. I urge family members, friends and neighbors to keep an eye on one another, check in and reach out if you think someone is in danger. I’ll continue to fight for funding that supports our crisis centers and survivor advocacy organizations on the frontlines. I’ll also keep the pressure on Mitch McConnell to end his obstruction that’s prevented Congress from reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. We need to use every tool at our disposal to support survivors and their families during this precarious time – these political games risk the safety of survivors who need help. It has to stop.”

Shaheen is the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and is a leader in Congress on efforts to combat domestic and sexual violence, and to bolster resources to help survivors stay safe, recover and seek justice. Just last week, Senator Shaheen 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. 

Throughout the pandemic, Senator Shaheen and the New Hampshire congressional delegation have been working to provide more resources and services to domestic violence survivors nationwide. Senator Shaheen has called on Congressional leadership to include additional funding to support the victims of family violence, domestic violence and dating violence in the fourth COVID-19 legislative package. In addition, last month, Shaheen introduced the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act, strongly-supported bicameral legislation to protect domestic violence survivors from gun violence.

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to establish basic rights and protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Her bill, the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, was signed into law in 2016 and created the first federally codified rights specifically for sexual assault survivors and for the first time allowed survivors the opportunity to enforce those rights in federal court. Last year, Shaheen introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Survivors’ Bill of Rights in the States Act to build on the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act by incentivizing states to pass legislation that guarantees the survivors rights included in the federal legislation. For the third year in a row, Senator Shaheen – Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the OVW – successfully added the highest funding amount ever for Violence Against Women Act programs in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 government funding.