Murkowski, Casey Introduce Legislation to Support Survivors of Domestic Violence

More than 40 percent of women and a quarter of men in America report that they experienced sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Bob Casey (D-PA) recently introduced legislation to enhance and expand support, protection, and prevention for Americans affected by family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act would strengthen services for the more than 1.3 million survivors of domestic violence nationwide and update the National Domestic Violence Hotline to better serve underserved populations, such as people who are deaf or hard of hearing, people with disabilities, and racial and ethnic minorities, by expanding prevention efforts and resources for underserved populations.

“I’m proud to once again join Senator Casey in introducing the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act to provide victims of domestic violence with the critical support they need,” Senator Lisa Murkowski said. “Too many Alaskans in rural communities face obstacles to receiving help—including being hundreds of miles away from the nearest shelter. This bill would work to increase access to services like crisis counseling, emergency shelters, and support prevention efforts. We must continue to improve access to support services for victims and their children and build on efforts to improve the safety of Alaska’s communities.” 

“Family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence are a public health crisis in this country,” Senator Casey said. “I’m introducing the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act because there are far too many people in this Nation suffering from abuse and violence, particularly those from undeserved communities. I look forward to working with Senator Murkowski to making sure survivors across America have the support they need.”

"We truly appreciate Senator Murkowski’s introduction of legislation reauthorizing the Family Violence Prevention Service Act.  This legislation will allow many organizations and individuals to continue the impactful work happening throughout our nation to create safe communities for all. It will also add to the ability of tribal governments to create safety within tribal communities, will create specialized resource centers, and will increase the funds available for families impacted by acts of violence and abuse within their families.  We thank Senator Murkowski for her continued leadership in the quest to stop family violence," said Brenda Stanfill, Executive Director, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

“We are thankful to Senators Murkowski (R-AK) and Casey (D-PA) for their work in reintroducing the FVPSA reauthorization to the 118thCongress. Among other Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Women suffer the highest rates of domestic and sexual violence in the country. FVPSA is the only federal grant program dedicated to supporting immediate shelter and supportive services for survivors of family violence, domestic violence, or dating violence, and the reauthorization of FVPSA, with permanent funding to support a dedicated Alaska Native Resource Center, is critical to support healing and reconciliation for our Alaska Native women and children," said Tami Truett Jerue – Executive Director of the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center.

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), which was signed into law in 1984, was the federal government’s first response to the crisis of domestic violence, providing support via grants to domestic violence shelters and programs, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and domestic violence coalitions. Survivors receive services such as emergency shelter, crisis counseling, safety planning, and assistance recovering from financial abuse and addressing housing insecurity. These programs also provide education and prevention programming to millions of community members annually.

Read more about the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act HERE.