Leahy: Senate Appropriations Committee Approves $50 M. To Help Domestic Abuse Victims

. . . Leahy makes a priority of funds to house victims who need to flee abusive households

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that an appropriations bill approved by the committee on Thursday includes $50 million for Domestic Violence Supportive Housing, a program that provides rapid and transitional housing to victims of domestic violence.  Leahy, who led in writing and enacting the 2013 law that strengthened the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and was the bill’s chief sponsor, made it a priority for the panel to include this funding in the annual funding bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the second fiscal year in a row.  

Leahy said: “Many victims of domestic violence are trapped by circumstance, living in the same home of their abusers, or depending financially upon them.  These grants will be crucial to help ensure that victims have a place to stay free from abuse while they get back on their feet.  This housing support will stop some of this abuse and save lives in Vermont and across the country.”

Leahy also was a lead negotiator in the bipartisan budget deal passed this year that makes possible historic investments in domestic priorities, including the Domestic Violence Supportive Housing program.  The $50 million will be used for grants for rapid re-housing and supportive service projects.  Housing is a major issue for victims of domestic violence, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that as many as 50 percent of all homeless women and children are fleeing domestic violence.

Leahy has long been a champion for victims of domestic violence, shepherding the renewal and strengthening of VAWA.  That reauthorization included an emergency provision to transfer funds to provide housing for domestic violence victims that is now separate and permanent in the Domestic Violence Supportive Housing program.

The funding bill now goes next for a debate and vote by the full Senate and by the House of Representatives.  It will then go to the President’s desk for signing into law.

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