The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is awarding nearly $800 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children.
The funds will cover COVD-19 testing, vaccines, mobile health units, and other support for domestic violence services programs, as well as increase support for sexual assault service providers and culturally specific services.
Combined with grants from May, the Biden-Harris Administration has invested nearly $1 billion of ARP funds in Family Violence Prevention and Services Programs this year.
“We must do everything in our power to prevent and combat sexual violence and domestic violence. Today’s historic investment will usher in new partnerships and tools to support the needs of survivors and their children,” said Xavier Becerra, HHS Secretary.
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) program is awarding $550 million to grantees to support COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and mobile health units and address other needs resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency for millions of domestic violence survivors nationwide.
These funds will reduce the barriers to health services that help mitigate the spread of the virus for domestic violence survivors, including in rural communities and in the geographically isolated Alaskan Native villages. They will promote the health and well-being of adults and children exposed to domestic violence.
This historic investment will provide 296 supplemental grant awards that will reach states, territories, and tribes. This funding will reach thousands of programs across the country — including 1,500 local domestic violence shelters and 252 tribal domestic violence programs.
“Everyone deserves safe access to testing and vaccines; mobile health units strengthen the services and supports available to survivors,” said JooYeun Chang, Administration for Children and Families Acting Assistant Secretary. “ACF is committed to working with communities to eliminate barriers to health services that domestic and sexual violence survivors and their children may face.”
Next week, HHS will also award $198 million in ARP supplemental funding to help rape crisis centers and sexual assault programs continue adapting to meet the emergency needs of sexual assault survivors.
This supplemental funding may also be used to expand existing virtual, remote, and emergency services for survivors. These funds will ensure the continuity of rape crisis services all across the country and strengthen the public health response to sexual violence in local communities.
HHS will also award $49.5 million in ARP supplemental funding to support community-based organizations providing culturally specific activities and support for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence to address emergent needs resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“Partnerships with local health departments, medical clinics, and health associations will strengthen the knowledge and expertise available to millions of domestic violence survivors and sexual assault survivors seeking services and crisis support across the country,” said FYSB Acting Associate Commissioner Debbie Powell.