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Higgins announces approval of Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act


Wed, Oct 27th 2021 10:30 am

H.R. 2119 increases funding for domestic violence prevention services

Congressman Brian Higgins announced approval of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act of 2021 (H.R. 2119). This legislation modifies, expands and reauthorizes the Family Violence and Prevention Services program through fiscal year 2026.

“Programs preventing domestic violence and helping survivors are critical in providing necessary services like shelters, treatment and counseling,” Higgins said. “This bill provides critical funding to better reach people impacted by domestic violence in underserved communities, and addresses modern challenges that arise with changes in technology.”

Originating in 1984, the Family Violence Prevention and Services program provides funding for emergency shelters and supports assistance for victims of domestic violence. Funding for this program reaches more than 1,500 domestic violence shelters and programs, as well as more than 240 tribes and tribal organizations that address and prevent domestic violence. Additionally, it supports a network of state coalitions and national technical assistance providers working to ensure that crisis services are available to those in need.

This legislation continues funding for prevention alliances, hotlines, underserved populations, as well as research and evaluation. Additionally, it expands the definitions of domestic, dating, and family violence to include economic and technological abuse.

The bill allocates $270 million each year through 2026. The funding supports grants to help states and territories provide services for domestic violence victims; assists tribes in responding to and preventing domestic violence; provides a network of technical assistance centers for intervention and prevention efforts; helps victims and their children in underserved communities; assists state, local and tribal coalitions responding to domestic violence; educates communities; and enhances culturally specific victims’ services for minority populations.

The bill authorizes an additional $26 million for the Domestic Violence Prevention and Enhancement Leadership Alliances Program, which funds coalitions with states, tribes and local communities to help prevent domestic, dating and family violence. It also provides $10 million for grants to address and prevent domestic violence in underserved communities through culturally and linguistically appropriate messages. Additionally, it allocates $14 million to fund and upgrade the National Domestic Violence Hotline and $4 million to establish the National Indian Domestic Violence Hotline.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Higgins’ team said, “If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911. If you are a victim in crisis seeking assistance or for information about resources in your community, call the New York State Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-942-6906 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.”

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