(Manchester, NH) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) announced $468,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to Turning Points Network in Claremont to strengthen the organization’s capacity to serve survivors of domestic and sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking. Specifically, the funds will come in the form of a federal loan of $332,000, a grant of $59,700 from USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program and a $76,300 USDA Rural Development’s Economic Impact Initiative Grant. These federal funds will allow the organization to make urgently needed renovations and move into its new office space to meet increasing demand for services, accommodate a growing number of staff and ensure privacy for survivors and advocates.
“Providing survivors of domestic and sexual violence with the assistance they need as they heal and seek justice must continue to be a priority in this nation. This is especially critical amid this pandemic, which has made it more difficult for survivors to access resources and support services,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m very pleased these federal dollars have been awarded, which will allow Turning Points Network to continue to meet the needs of survivors in a safe and confidential environment. As the Senate considers new COVID-19 relief legislation, Mitch McConnell must end his obstruction and allow the addition of funding and measures that will support the crucial work New Hampshire’s crisis centers are doing to support survivors.”
“As a result of increased social isolation amid this pandemic, rates of domestic and sexual violence have surged, while the avenues that provide help to survivors have become harder to access,” Senator Hassan said. “Turning Points Network provides a refuge for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and this federal grant will help their organization provide more robust services to those seeking justice and a place to heal during a difficult time. I will continue fighting to make sure that survivors have the resources and support that that they need to stay safe during this challenging time.”
“For years, Turning Points has been dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual and domestic violence and preventing these crimes from occurring in the first place,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “This work is more important now than ever before, as survivors face greater hurdles in accessing care during the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will allow Turning Points to grow and expand their services, helping more survivors get out of abusive situations and reclaim their lives. I’m proud to help announce this funding, and I will continue working to ensure survivors of sexual and domestic violence have the resources and support they need.”
“USDA worked really hard to secure this funding for Turning Points Network and we are appreciative of their partnership and support. They join Community Development Finance Authority, Northern Border Regional Commission and several private funders in bringing us that much closer to our goal and we look forward to breaking ground this fall.” – Jennifer Ucci, Development Director, Turning Points Network.
Throughout the pandemic, Shaheen and Hassan have been actively working with the entire New Hampshire congressional delegation to provide more resources and services to domestic violence victims nationwide. Senators Shaheen and Hassan have called on Congressional leadership multiple times to include additional funding to support the victims of family violence, domestic violence and dating violence in the fourth COVID-19 legislative package. In addition, earlier this month Shaheen and Hassan introduced the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act, strongly-supported bicameral legislation to protect domestic violence survivors from gun violence.
Senator Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to establish basic rights and protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Shaheen previously helped introduce the Domestic Violence Loophole Closure Act with U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and former U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ). The bipartisan legislation would close the background check loophole exploited by the Sutherland Springs, Texas shooter in 2017 and ensure that any individual convicted of domestic violence – whether it is in criminal or military court – cannot legally purchase a firearm. Her bill, the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, was signed into law in 2016 and created the first federally codified rights specifically for sexual assault survivors and for the first time allowed survivors the opportunity to enforce those rights in federal court. Last year, Shaheen introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Survivors’ Bill of Rights in the States Act to build on the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act by incentivizing states to pass legislation that guarantees the survivors rights included in the federal legislation. For the third year in a row, Senator Shaheen – the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Office on Violence Against Women— successfully added the highest funding amount ever for Violence Against Women Act programs in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 government funding.