Action Center

Increase FY 2025 Funding for Programs that Address Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, and Stalking
Federal funds strive to reach into every community to provide safety, access to services, prevention and education, and justice for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Urge Congress to increase FY 2025 funds for services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. 

Many domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers are forced to turn away victims or delay counseling because of a lack of resources. Urge Congress to increase funding in its FY 2025 appropriations bills for services and resources to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault through programs authorized in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA), and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). These programs are cost-effective and lifesaving. Prevention and education are key resources needed in every community.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 2022 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey shows that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime. Research indicates that programs that teach young people healthy relationship skills such as communication, effectively managing feelings, and problem-solving can prevent violence. Hopefully, these skills can prevent violence in dating relationships before it occurs. If our children are to face a future free from sexual violence, the Rape Prevention and Education program funding must increase significantly. 

The National Domestic Violence Counts Report released by the National Network to End Domestic Violence found that in just one day during September 2023, more than 76,975 victims of domestic violence received services such as shelter, housing, legal advocacy, transportation, and other services to help them escape abuse and rebuild their lives. However, on this same day, more than 13,335 requests for services went unmet due to lack of funding and resources. Most of these unmet requests were for emergency shelter, hotels, motels, transitional housing, and other housing that can help victims escape abuse and begin to rebuild their lives. Most of the staff shortages were direct service staff, including counselors, advocates, and especially children's advocates. Given reduced funding and staff, local programs have had to reduce or eliminate countless services, including emergency shelter, legal advocacy, and counseling. Meanwhile, call volume for the National Domestic Violence Hotline reached historic levels in 2023. 

Media attention on campus sexual assault, military sexual assault, and high-profile celebrity cases has resulted in more victims coming forward needing long-term recovery services. According to a 2023 survey by the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the nation’s 1,500 sexual assault programs often lack the resources to meet victims’ most basic needs; nearly 70 percent of programs saw an increased demand for services. Over 50 percent of programs received a decrease in funding overall. Over 33 percent of programs report a waiting list for services, and 48 percent of the programs lacked a therapist on staff. Prevention and education programs are so important in each community. Short and long-term services must be available to help victims recover.   

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