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Domestic Violence Prevention Month: Feds Award $21 Million to Tribal Efforts

Indian Health Service and Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families give $21 million for domestic violence.
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The federal government is awarding nearly $21 million to 136 tribes and tribal organizations—serving 274 tribes in all—to address domestic violence.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Indian Health Service (IHS) announced the grant on October 1, the beginning of National Domestic Violence Prevention Month. The funds will “support tribal domestic violence victims and organizations in American Indian and Alaska Native communities across the nation,” the government said in a statement. “These funds will help to strengthen tribal responses to domestic violence and emphasize public awareness, advocacy, and policy, training, and technical assistance.”

The ACF funding comes under the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA).

“Tribal domestic violence programs provide a lifeline to tens of thousands of Native women, children and men each year,” said Commissioner on Children, Youth, and Families Rafael Lopez in a statement. “For the past three decades, the FVPSA Program has been an integral part of our nation’s response to domestic violence by providing funding, oversight, training, and guidance to emergency shelters, crisis hotlines, prevention programs, specialized resource centers, and a wide range of federal partners across the United States.”

The IHS grants mark a new phase in the Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI), the agency said. Previously the DVPI funded 65 health programs in a five-year demonstration project to expand outreach and increase awareness of domestic and sexual violence, as well as expand services to victims and communities, the IHS said in the statement.

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“These new awards dramatically expand our efforts to provide community based, culturally appropriate services for domestic and sexual violence,” said IHS Principal Deputy Director Robert G. McSwain in the statement. “American Indian and Alaska Native communities have called on IHS for more support to prevent domestic and sexual violence. The IHS Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative funding represents a commitment to address these critical services.”

Domestic violence strikes tribal communities at a much higher rate than the general population.

RELATED: Exploring the Prevalence of Domestic Violence Against Native Americans

The ACF Family Violence Prevention and Services Act grantees and the IHS Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative grantees are available on their respective websites.

RELATED: 10 Early Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence: With the Right Support, You Can Build a Better Life