Monday, April 03, 2006

Call to Action: VAWA funding

Stop Family Violence has issued an action alert. Congress’ unanimous reauthorization of the expanded Violence Against Women Act this past December was cause for celebration but now, VAWA’s in trouble and your help is needed. For the 5th year in a row, President Bush has not requested full funding for VAWA programs in his budget proposal. Because VAWA wasn’t passed until late last year - after the President had already drafted his budget request - no funding at all has been proposed for new VAWA programs!

Congress authorized spending $1 billion per year so that VAWA's effective programs, like the national domestic violence hotline, training for law enforcement, and legal assistance for victims could continue and expand. Unfortunately, the President's budget only requests $546 million in funding for continuing and new programs - just over half of what he could have requested. We need full funding to continue VAWA's existing lifesaving programs plus funding for the new programs that will help ensure an integrated approach to ending domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence. These new remedies address gaps in prevention services, housing, health care, and employment issues related to domestic and sexual violence. And they bring VAWA’s effective services to new populations, including youth, Native women, and victims of sexual violence, through funding for rape crisis centers and other service providers not included in previous legislation.

President's 2007 Budget Request:
  • Services for Children who witness abuse
  • Sexual Assault Services
  • Privacy protections for victims of violence
  • Programs for Communities of Color and Indian Women
  • Prevention - encouraging men and boys role in ending violence against women

The following are some of the continuing VAWA programs that have not received full funding in the President's Budget request

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Family Violence Prevention and Services Act Shelter and Services
  • Rape Prevention and Education
  • Services for Older and Disabled Victims of Violence
  • Legal Assistance for victims of violence
  • Transitional Housing

Over the next few weeks, Congress will be making decisions about how to appropriate money for fiscal year 2007. Please make sure they hear from you so that victims don't have to wait another year for these lifesaving services! To learn more and to send a free message to your legislators telling them to provide full funding for all VAWA programs.

ACT NOW and send a free message to your legislators!