February 23, 2005

Crapo Advocates Full Funding For Domestic Violence Prevention Programs

Wants funding goals set for Violence Against Women Act met

Washington, D.C. -- Additional efforts to combat violence against women are gaining momentum in the Senate. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo joined his colleagues in the Senate in calling for full funding in fiscal year 2004 of programs which fall under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Crapo and a number of his colleagues in the Senate sent letters to the Senate Appropriations Committee, insisting that it meet the funding levels set by Congress when VAWA was first enacted. The reauthorization of VAWA was unanimously passed by the Senate in 2000, but programs created by VAWA have not yet been fully funded at levels authorized initially.Numerous domestic violence prevention programs are funded through VAWA including assistance for law enforcement training, child abuse, rape, and domestic violence prevention, as well as grant programs which provide legal assistance to victims. Current funding levels do not adequately address the financial needs of these programs. Additionally, grant programs that provide training to judges and court personnel with regard to special needs of female victims of violent crime have never been initiated. Full funding of VAWA would establish these important programs.â??Violent crimes against women shred the fabric of families and society as a whole,â?? said Crapo. â??Existing shelters and transitional housing for battered women and their children do not exist in the numbers needed to meet the needs of the affected population. By fully funding the vital programs that fall under the Violence Against Women Act, we can help victims and their families begin the healing process, as well as enacting preventative measures through education and law enforcement. Idaho has about 25 shelters, and women in our state deserve to have the resources and assistance needed to get them out of dangerous living situations.â??The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence conducted a survey indicating that in 2000, approximately 2000 existing shelters were unable to house 296,440 women and children due to insufficient space. VAWA authorizes $175 million toward shelters, and $25 million for much-needed transitional housing. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, approximately 26,000 calls to the Hotline in 2001 were not answered due to lack of funding for staff. The Senate recently passed legislation to increase the funding for the Hotline from $2 million to $5 million. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that one in six women in the United States has been the victim of an attempted, and many times completed, sexual assault. The U.S. Department of Justice found that one in three female murder victims are killed by partners. VAWA provides financial resources to combat violence against women.# # #