**Shaheen Has Lead Efforts in Congress to Support Survivors of Domestic & Sexual Violence**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), announced today with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that New Hampshire will receive $2,091,532 in OVW grants. The funding will support projects that help survivors find safety and justice, as well as those that train an array of professionals to address the prevalence of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking across our communities.
“We know that the scourge of sexual assault and domestic violence has been exacerbated by the pandemic, and many victims are still reeling from the consequences and are in dire need of safety. Survivors deserve immediate shelter and support to escape dangerous situations, hold perpetrators to account and begin the healing process,” said Senator Shaheen. “That’s why as Chair of the subcommittee that funds these grants through the Office on Violence Against Women, I’ve pushed year after year for substantial increases in funding. I’m pleased to welcome over $2 million to programs across New Hampshire, and I’ll continue fighting to deliver resources and support to survivors to help them rebuild their lives.”
“Granite Staters who have survived sexual assault or domestic violence need support and justice to help them move forward,” said Senator Hassan. “This significant federal funding to New Hampshire will not only provide critical resources to organizations that support survivors, it will also help train more professionals to address this violence in our communities. I am pleased that this funding is coming to New Hampshire, and I will continue pushing to ensure that survivors are fully supported and their perpetrators are held accountable.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many of the crises and challenges already facing Granite Staters, and unfortunately, occurrences of sexual and domestic violence were no exception,” said Rep. Annie Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “Survivors of sexual and domestic violence have faced tremendous trauma, and we must ensure they have access to the life-saving support and resources that are crucial to their recovery. These federal funds will support survivors across our state as they heal and rebuild, and I will continue working across the aisle to ensure no survivors have to go through their recovery alone.”
“There is a considerable work ahead to support survivors and families who endure the trauma of domestic abuse and sexual violence, and that's why I’m glad New Hampshire will receive this funding,” said Rep. Chris Pappas. “These grants will help survivors across New Hampshire find safety and seek justice, and the funds will support new training opportunities to help ensure our communities can address the increased reports of domestic violence that we’ve seen during this pandemic. I remain committed to working alongside survivors and advocates to strengthen our domestic violence prevention programs moving forward.”
“During the pandemic, we have seen an increase in calls to our state’s domestic and sexual violence crisis centers as survivors have faced isolation and acts of violence have escalated in homes across New Hampshire. These federal funds will allow crisis centers to continue serving as a lifeline to survivors and will strengthen our statewide response to combat domestic violence and sexual assault. Thank you to our Congressional delegation for continuing to stand with survivors, we are deeply appreciative of your efforts to secure these critical resources,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, Director of Public Affairs at the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
The funding announcement includes the following awards:
More information on the grants is available here.
Shaheen has spearheaded efforts to protect survivors and help them seek justice. In December, Shaheen once again successfully added the highest funding amount ever for Violence Against Women Act programs in fiscal year (FY) 2021 government funding legislation that was signed into law. Shaheen also recently called on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to include funding for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs in the reconciliation package.
Throughout the pandemic, Senator Shaheen has worked to provide more resources and services to domestic violence survivors nationwide. She recently introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Grassley (R-IA) that would help ensure federal rights for survivors of sexual assault – which were codified by Shaheen’s Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act – are recognized and protected at the state level. She also helped lead calls to Congressional leadership to include additional funding to support the victims of child abuse, domestic violence and dating violence in COVID-19 response legislation. Earlier this year, she pushed for a swift vote in the Senate to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which expired two years ago, after the House passed the legislation. Last year, she visited the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence (NHCADSV) in Concord, where she met with NHCADSV’s leadership and representatives from crisis centers to hear more about the impact COVID-19 has had on survivors and the state’s crisis centers.
Senator Hassan is working to provide support to survivors of violent crimes, including sexual assault and domestic violence. Earlier this year, President Biden signed into law bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senator Hassan to prevent deep cuts to programs that provide critical support and compensation to survivors of violent crimes, including survivors of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Last year, Senator Hassan and a bipartisan group of her colleagues introduced the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Training Act of 2020, which would help prevent the human trafficking and exploitation of children by providing grants to train students, parents, teachers, and school personnel to understand, recognize, prevent, and respond to signs of human trafficking. Additionally, the Senator and her colleagues introduced bipartisan legislation last December to allow individuals to seek compensation and relief in federal court for the non-consensual disclosure and transmission of intimate images of them, often referred to as “revenge porn.”