Defining the Problem and the Population
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Status of Current Domestic Violence Services
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Funding and Technical Assistance

Domestic Violence Victims/Survivors:
Funding and Technical Assistance

Like RHY programs, domestic violence services are funded through a variety of public and private sources, including state and federal grants, foundations, court and marriage license fees, and corporate and individuals donations, with the total resources available in any community to support domestic violence programs varying widely across the country.

In 1981, Congress established the Family Violence Prevention and Services (FVPSA)
Program, the first federal funding stream to provide much needed financial support for core domestic services throughout the country.  The statute (42 U.S.C. § 10401) states that it is the purposes of FVPSA to:

  1. assist States in efforts to increase public awareness about and prevent family violence and to provide immediate shelter and related assistance for victims of family violence and their dependents; and     
  2. provide for technical assistance and training relating to family violence programs to States, local public agencies (including law enforcement agencies, courts, legal, social service, and health care professionals), nonprofit private organizations, and other persons seeking such assistance.

Similar to the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act Program, the FVPSA Program is also administered by the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The FVPSA Funding Formula

FVPSA sets forth specific requirements regarding the distribution of funds to States, Indian Tribes, Territories, State Domestic Violence Coalitions and national resource centers, and the use of funds by these grantees. The Appropriations level for FVPSA formula grants in FY 2009 was $127.7 million. 

FVPSA funds are distributed via the formulas that are spelled out in the statute.  FY 2009 levels are reflected below (rounded to the nearest $100 thousand):

State and Territorial Formula Grants

$89.4 million

70% of appropriation

Tribal Formula Grants

$12.8 million

10% of appropriation

State Domestic Violence Coalitions Formula Grants

$12.8 million

10% of appropriation

National and Special Issue Resource Centers

$6.4 million

5% of appropriation

Evaluation, Monitoring and Administration

$3.2 million

2.5% of appropriation

Discretionary

$3.2 million

2.5% of appropriation

National Domestic Violence Hotline
(separate authorization and appropriation)

$3.2 million

100% of appropriation


Other key sources of Federal funds

While FVPSA remains a critical source of funding for core domestic violence services, many programs also receive support from the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) program, administered by the Office for Victims of Crime at the Department of Justice.  The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), passed in 1994 and administered by the Office on Violence Against Women of the Department of Justice, was the first federal legislation to acknowledge domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and continues to provide federal resources to encourage coordinated approaches to combating intimate violence and also provides critical support for state domestic violence coalitions and technical assistance, as well as many local domestic violence programs.

Technical Assistance and Training for Domestic Violence Programs

In 1993, FVPSA funds were appropriated to support the establishment and operation of a National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and 4 special issues resource centers focusing on criminal/civil justice response, health care response to domestic violence, child protection and custody issues arising within the context of domestic violence, and violence against Native American women.  Several years later, five culturally-specific projects – the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African-American Community, Alianza: The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence, the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, Encuentro Latino National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, and the Immigrant Family Violence Institute – received multi-year grants, along with the National Training and TA Center on Domestic Violence, Mental Health and Trauma and the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Working together, these FVPSA-funded technical assistance projects form the Domestic Violence Resource Network (DVRN) to inform and strengthen domestic violence intervention and prevention efforts at the individual, community, and societal levels. Working individually and collectively, DVRN members ensure that advocates, allied professionals, policymakers, researchers, and the general public has access to up-to-date information on best practices, policies, research and victim resources.

To access a contact list of FVPSA-funded technical assistance providers, please click here.

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