Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined Senate colleagues in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urging him to include funding for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs in the upcoming reconciliation package.
“As the country reopens, more evidence has emerged that the pandemic caused the rates and severity of incidents of domestic violence to increase across the country. Social isolation, economic uncertainty, and general anxiety about the virus added layers of stress for many families and increased the risk of intimate partner violence,” the senators wrote.
The senators highlighted the importance of this funding in light of increased reports of domestic violence during the pandemic, particularly as VAWA programs have not received supplemental funding since the pandemic began, making it more difficult for service providers to respond to the increased need for crisis intervention, legal services, and transitional housing.
They continued: “Through the Department of Justice, the federal government provides critical support for programs that are particularly needed at this time, including support for sexual assault service providers, law enforcement, and transitional housing programs, as well as for organizations that address the needs of communities of color and underserved populations.”
The letter was led by Senators Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. Along with Wyden, this letter was signed by Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Cory Booker, D-N.J., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
The letter is supported by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, National Network to End Domestic Violence, Jewish Women International, National Domestic Violence Hotline, Tahirih Justice Center, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Black Women’s Blueprint, and Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network
Full text of the letter is HERE.
A web version of this release is here.