FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 31, 2019
Communications Officer, NIWRC
On July 24, 2019, Senators Casey and Murkowski introduced the reauthorization of the Family Violence Prevention & Services Act (S. 2259). First signed into law in 1984, this bill includes support for core domestic violence shelter and supportive services, including a dedicated funding stream for Indian tribes. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act Grants to American Indian Tribes are formula grants currently funded through a 10% set aside under the FVPSA appropriation.
“S. 2259 includes long-overdue amendments to increase support for Indian tribes to provide increased shelter and services to assist victims and survivors of domestic violence. These enhancements include increased funding for tribes, permanent authorization for the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, StrongHearts Native Domestic Violence Helpline and funding for nonprofit tribal domestic violence coalitions. S. 2259 fulfills the federal trust responsibility to assist Indian tribes in safeguarding the lives of Indian Women,” said Paula Julian, Senior Policy Specialist, National Idigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC).
NIWRC applauds Senators Casey and Murkowski for their leadership in introducing the Reauthorization of the Family Violence Prevention & Services Act (S. 2259). FVPSA is the only federal grant dedicated to domestic violence shelter and supportive services. A tribal domestic violence shelter or safe home can provide Native women the support, advocacy, and emergency services they need to escape abuse and violence.
“Over 40 years ago, battered women and their advocates, including Native women, came together to call for changes in the way our tribal, federal and state governments and societies responded to domestic violence. Shelters were at the center of this grassroots organizing. The tribal and other life-saving enhancements reflected in this FVPSA reauthorization centers this grassroots organizing at the tribal, state and national levels ensuring that all survivors have a voice in the ongoing social change needed to end domestic violence. Currently, less than half of Indian tribes receive FVPSA funding for shelter and supportive services. Congressional findings confirm that Native women and children are too often the victims of domestic and sexual violence,” said Lucy Simpson, Executive Director, NIWRC.
About the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Inc. (NIWRC) is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to restoring the sovereignty of Native nations and safeguarding Native women and their children. The NIWRC supports culturally grounded, grassroots advocacy and provides national leadership to ending gender-based violence in Indigenous communities through the development of educational materials and programs, direct technical assistance and the development of local and national policy that builds the capacity of Indigenous communities and strengthens the exercise of tribal sovereignty. www.niwrc.org
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