"Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill it teaches the whole people by its example.
Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself."
–Supreme Court Justice Brandeis

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Urge Key Senators to Support Increased Funding for Domestic Violence Services!

Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] A Human Rights Issue-Custodial Justice.


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Here's an important action alert from our colleagues at National Network to End Domestic Violence

Urge Key Senators to Support Increased Funding for Domestic Violence Services!

Congress is finalizing the funding bills for fiscal year 2010. The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have passed separate funding bills and now must reconcile their bills into one before sending it to the President.  The House passed a higher funding amount for Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) - which is the only federal funding dedicated to domestic violence services and shelters.  

Act now to preserve the higher funding amount in the final bill!

FVPSA is at the heart of our nation's response to domestic violence, providing emergency, lifesaving services to victims and their children. When victims who face life-threatening abuse reach out for help, we must make sure they have the resources and support they need to be safe and secure.  Yet, during the economic downturn many domestic violence programs are struggling to meet the increased demand for life-saving services as their budgets are shrinking.  FVPSA funding is needed now more than ever!

Take Action Now!

Call these key Senators today and urge them to allocate at least $133.7 million (the funding level passed by the House) for FVPSA.  These Senators have leadership roles on the Appropriations Committee and play a vital role in determining funding levels. 

Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) - 202.224.3934

Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) - 202.224.3254

Chairman of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee.

Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) - 202.224.5054

Ranking Member of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee.

Never called a Member of Congress before? Don't worry, it's easy!

Your call will be answered by a receptionist.  Tell her or him:

"Hello, my name is _____."

"I strongly urge Senator [last name] to fund the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) at $133.7 million, the funding level passed by the House.

"FVPSA is the only dedicated source of federal funding for vital lifesaving services to victims of domestic violence and their children and needs to be increased to meet the growing demand for services."

"Thank you."

If you have time, also share a story about how domestic violence services have positively impacted your community. 

After you've made the call, please send us a quick note to let us know you've made the call and tell us how it went!  We'd especially like to hear from you if this is your first time making a call to Congress - let us know what that was like for you - you words will inspire others!  Send your follow up email to actnow@stopfamilyviolence.org

Thank you for being a voice for survivors of domestic violence.


Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have included funding for FVPSA in their Appropriations (funding) bills and now these two bills need to be combined into one bill for the President to sign.  The House has requested more funding than the Senate and it is vital we secure the House's funding amount in the final bill!

Earlier this year the House and Senate both passed separate Appropriations bills.  Critical decisions are being made now as the two bills are being combined into the final bill for the President to sign.

  • FVPSA is currently authorized at $175 million but only received $127.7 million in fiscal year 2009.
  • For fiscal year 2010, the Senate requested $127.7 million in funding for FVPSA, (the same level as fiscal year 2009) while the House of Representatives requested an increased level of $133.7 million!
  • Recognizing the need for specific services for children, Congress determined that once FVPSA funding reached $130 million, a portion of funding over $130 million will be dedicated to programs serving children.
  • Since the existing funding does not meet the need for emergency services and does not provide specific support resources for specialized children's services, it is critical that the Senate agree to the House approved funding of $133.7 million.

Facts on FVPSA

  • To respond to the needs of victims of domestic violence, there are approximately 2,000 community based domestic violence programs serving approximately 300,000 victims and their children every year.
  • FVPSA is effective - the domestic violence shelters and programs it funds address both the urgent and long-term needs of victims of violence and help victims protect themselves and their children.
  • Despite FVPSA's successes there is still a large gap between demand for services and adequate resources - on just one day in 2008, 60,799 victims received services from domestic violence programs while 8,927 requests for services went unmet due to a lack of resources.

Thanks for your quick action on this.

Together, we can www.stopfamilyviolence.org

Irene Weiser



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