Domestic Violence Expert Lauds Senate Passage of Essential Child Abuse Prevention and Domestic Violence Services Legislation, Urges House to ‘Waste No Time’
Family Violence Prevention Fund President Esta Soler issued the following statement on Senate passage of S. 3817, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act and Family Violence Prevention and Services Act
“Domestic violence and child abuse are problems of epidemic proportions in this country, killing more than 2,000 women and children every year and injuring up to two million. The recession has only made it worse. 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 our most vulnerable victims of violence and abuse get the help they need.
Today the U.S. Senate took a major step and reauthorized the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). CAPTA is the nation’s preeminent program for preventing child abuse. It will 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. FVPSA funds domestic violence shelters and services that provide life-saving help to women and children daily. It also includes domestic violence prevention programs, and this legislation (S.3817) importantly also includes new language to help children exposed to violence and better address dating violence.
I commend the Senate for passing this bill and especially Senator Chris Dodd, whose abiding concern and advocacy for vulnerable children and families during his service in the Senate will not soon be forgotten. It is now time for the House of Representatives to act. There is no time to waste. The lives of countless women and children are at stake.”
Note: 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.