The hotline welcomes the passage of the HEROES bill in the house and urges the Senate to follow suit
Critical funding for domestic violence survivors has been included in the Emergency Omnibus Solutions (HEROES) Health and Economic Recovery Act, passed by the US House of Representatives late last week. This is the fifth federal law to combat emergency aid related to COVID-19. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (“The Hotline”) welcomes the passage of the HEROES Bill, which includes $ 50 million for FVPSA-funded programs that target domestic violence survivors in the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act provide shelter and shelter across the country. The bill also includes $ 2 million for the hotline to provide critical and ongoing services to survivors seeking support, resources, and safety planning during this time of increased risk from the COVID-19 health crisis.
“Given the rising number of stay-at-home orders and the long-term impact of the pandemic, we expect a continued increase in survivors in need of assistance,” said Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of The Hotline. “This funding will ensure that our advocates are there when contacting survivors to provide validation, resources, and safety planning so they can make decisions for a safer future. We are pleased that the House is recognizing this real and urgent need and calling on the Senate to provide that assistance. “
At this point the hotline begins to increase the volume of contact as orders for the stay at home are reduced. Incoming contact volume in April was 15% higher than in April 2019. The hotline also received emergency funding under the CARES Act, the fourth COVID19 emergency package, and is grateful for additional funds that the HEROES Act has to meet the requirements would provide increasing needs from survivors seeking support. Funding through the CARES Act also included an allocation for StrongHearts native helpline. The hotline also supports the Abused Services for Deaf Women (ADWAS). through its CARES Act allocation.
The HEROES Act builds on the CARES Act and contains important provisions to assist survivors of sexual and domestic violence and the programs that serve them, including, but not limited to:
- $ 50 million for FVPSA-funded programs,
- $ 2 million for the hotline,
- $ 200 billion for key workers, including proponents of sexual and domestic violence, for access to hazard payments;
- $ 100 million for VAWA funding programs,
- And important provisions for immigrant survivors such as expanding access to economic checks for non-citizenship taxpayers and temporarily renewing work permits and immigrant status.
The hotline commends Congress for its actions and continues to call for more appropriate regulations for survivors who are members of underserved, culturally specific, immigrant and indigenous communities. We continue to urge Congress to address the needs of sexual violence survivors who are in dire need of more resources and assistance.
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