National Indigenous Women's Resource Center
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) advances out of committee in the House and Senate
On July 15, the House Committee on Education and Labor marked up H.R. 2119, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act of 2021 (FVPSA). The bill advanced out of Committee by a vote of 26-20.
On July 21, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions also marked up S. 1275. The bill advanced out of Committee by voice vote.
This Family Violence Prevention and Services Act reauthorization bill provides critical support for shelters, coalitions, training and technical assistance centers, children’s services, emergency response hotlines, and prevention initiatives. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act is also the only federal grant program solely dedicated to domestic violence shelter and supportive services and is the primary source of funding for these services for Indian tribes.
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act would expand grant programs and make many needed improvements so that more survivors have access to support and safety, including:
- Increasing the overall funding authorization level to address very low per-program funding levels and provide access to Family Violence Prevention and Services Act funds for more tribes and programs not currently funded.
- Authorizing recognition and meaningful funding for tribal coalitions to provide Indian tribes and tribal organizations with technical assistance and training on developing responses to domestic violence.
- Authorizing recognition and permanent funding for the currently funded Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center.
- Authorizing recognition and permanent funding for the currently funded StrongHearts Native Helpline to serve as the national Indian domestic violence hotline.
VOCA Fix Act Signed Into Law
The VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (“VOCA Fix Act”) (H.R. 1652) passed the Senate on July 20 and was signed into law by the president on July 22. The bill, which passed in the House in March, addresses the historically-low deposits into the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) by directing monetary penalties collected from deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements into the Crime Victims Fund rather than the general fund of the Treasury. The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) currently administers the Tribal Victims Services Set-Aside from the Crime Victims Fund to provide support for American Indian and Alaska Native communities to develop services for victims of crime.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed the House
On March 17, the House voted to pass the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2021 (H.R. 1620). The bill, which expired in 2018, was reintroduced on March 8 by Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Similar to the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill that passed the House in April 2019 (H.R. 1585) and the Senate companion bill introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in November 2019 (S.2843), this bill would build on the progress of the 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act reauthorization by reaffirming the inherent sovereign authority of Tribal Nations to hold non-Indian perpetrators accountable in cases involving child abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking. The bill, which was developed in partnership with national and tribal advocacy organizations, also includes critical resources for tribes to implement Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.
The bill will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.
Take Action! Tell your Members of Congress to pass FVPSA (H.R. 2119/S. 1275).