Violence Prevention Expert Urges Congress to Waste No Time in Reauthorizing Important Child Abuse Prevention and Domestic Violence Services Legislation
Soler Lauds Senator Chris Dodd for Championing Life-Saving Legislation
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – One of the nation’s leading experts on domestic violence and child abuse today praised U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) for introducing the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010. This legislation continues and improves the nation’s only programs dedicated solely to the prevention of child abuse and neglect and provides services to victims of domestic violence, such as emergency shelter and counseling. Its authorization expired in 2008.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment (CAPTA) Act is the nation’s preeminent program for preventing child abuse. It would improve services to victims of child abuse, and support programs so they can do more to help families that are experiencing both domestic violence and child maltreatment. In addition, it would continue and update the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, which funds domestic violence shelters and services; the National Domestic Violence Hotline; statewide prevention programs and provides other critically needed services. The legislation (S.3817) also includes new language to help children exposed to violence and better address dating violence.
“Domestic, dating and sexual violence and child abuse are problems of epidemic proportions in this country, endangering millions of people,” said Family Violence Prevention Fund President Esta Soler. “The recession has meant that more families experiencing abuse are seeking help from the system because they lack resources to protect themselves, at exactly the time that states and localities are cutting back on funding due to lower revenues. Now more than ever, we need the federal government to step up and ensure that vulnerable victims of violence can get the help they need. We thank Senator Dodd for championing this life-saving legislation, which should be a high priority for both the Senate and the House of Representatives.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 1,200 deaths and two million injuries to women from intimate partner violence each year.The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that, on average, four or five women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends each day in this country. More than 15 million children in the United States are exposed to parental domestic violence and about 800,000 children experience abuse or neglect each year.
The Family Violence Prevention Fund works to end violence against women and children around the world, because every person has the right to live free of violence. More information is available at www.endabuse.org.