NNEDV Calls for FVPSA Promise to be Fulfilled on 30th Anniversary

National Network to End Domestic Violence

Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) 30th Anniversary

October 9, 2014— October 9, 2014, marks the 30th anniversary of the federal government's first response to domestic violence, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). FVPSA-funded programs are the foundation of our nation's response to adult and child victims of domestic violence. Over 2,000 local domestic violence agencies rely on FVPSA-funding to keep their doors open to hundreds of thousands of victims seeking safety each year. FVPSA, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, funds essential services that are at the core of ending domestic violence: emergency shelters, hotlines, counseling and advocacy, legal assistance, job readiness, and primary and secondary prevention.

"FVPSA's passage was the first national advancement to address the silent and deadly epidemic of domestic violence." said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). "The act allowed victims to come out of the shadows and flee from abuse."

A 2008 multi-state study found that the nation's shelters and services were helping survivors meet their immediate and long-term needs. Survivors surveyed for the study reported that if shelters did not exist, the consequences would be catastrophic - homelessness, continued abuse, or even death. In 2011, FVPSA-funded programs provided services - ranging from shelter to counseling and much more - to over 1 million adults and children. In just one day, on September 13, 2013, NNEDV's 24-hour National Census reported that 66,581 domestic violence victims and their children received help and found safety through domestic violence programs.

"FVPSA is simple yet profound," continued Gandy. "A safe place to flee to, a warm bed, and someone to listen and help a survivor plan – those essential services go a long way toward helping a survivor find long-term safety, comfort and stability."

Despite FVPSA's reach, a gap in services still exists. In 2011, FVPSA-funded programs had to turn down over 170,000 requests for services. In just one day in 2013, almost 10,000 requests for services went unmet because programs lacked resources. In the preceding year, 1,696 staff had been laid off or positions left unfilled, and hundreds of programs had to reduce or eliminate vital services due to funding cuts.

"FVPSA's reach is stunted by stagnated funded," said Gandy. "Three women are killed every day in this nation by a current or former partner. We can't allow a gap in funding to be the reason why a survivor was not able to flee. There is no excuse for FVSPA's funding shortfall, especially when survivors are being turned away from services."

The act is authorized at $175 million annually but is consistently underfunded by at least $40 million. Many FVPSA-funded programs struggle to keep their doors open.

"On FVPSA 30th anniversary, we will celebrate the countless lives saved and transformed by this cornerstone of the federal government's response to domestic violence," said Gandy. "We will also call upon our leaders to help fulfill the promise of FVPSA by fully funding it."

Take action to support increased funding for FVPSA.

KCSDV Welcomes Conversation

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State Coalition Welcomes Broader Conversation

Contact: 785-232-9784

Topeka, KS – Sept 19, 2014— The firestorm about domestic violence in the NFL and sexual assault on college campuses is not just about professional sports and educational institutions; it is about every community and every workplace across the state and nation.

The award will support new efforts to connect women with employment opportunities that offer more than an existence job. StepStone will seek and develop relationships with community educational and job development resources to better serve each woman. The funding will also allow StepStone to serve additional families beyond the 15 homes in their inventory. Kimble said, "We are developing relationships with owners of rental properties who recognize the benefit of participating in our program."

Domestic violence impacts millions across the country, including thousands and thousands in Kansas. One in 4 women in the U.S. have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner. This means they have been hit with a fist or something hard, beaten, or slammed against something. One in 4 murders in Kansas are domestic violence-related and law enforcement receives 25,000 domestic violence calls each year. Kansas domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy programs regularly respond to over 20,000 crisis hotline calls annually. Nearly 1 in 5 women in the U.S. have been raped in her lifetime. Think about the magnitude of these numbers and what this means to everyone around you.

Domestic violence and sexual assault are not new problems. They did not start a couple weeks ago with the new NFL accountability and education policies. Campus sexual assault did not start when the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized last year and federal efforts forced this problem to be addressed. These issues have been with us historically for a very long time and are serious epidemics.

Advocacy programs located in communities across Kansas have worked for many years to stem the tide of this violence. Not only do they provide services for victims every day, but they also work to change a culture that turns its head away from and tolerates these very ugly issues.

As you think and talk about these issues, we urge you to look to the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, your state coalition that provides training and expert advice, for information and assistance. We urge you to look to your local domestic violence and sexual assault service provider to find out what is happening in your community. We urge you not to ask "why does she stay?" or "what did she do?" But rather, ask "why does he hit or rape his wife, his girlfriend, his date?" Change the conversation; stop the victim-blaming. This will move us forward.

As you think and talk about these issues, promise to take at least a small step in support of ending this violence. Volunteer for your local advocacy program; learn how to make a referral; make a donation; continue the conversation. It will take all of us to turn the tide and end this violence.

 

PDF of this release.

1 in 4

Letter to the Editor

One in four. What would you do if I told you since this time last year one in four women experienced domestic violence? Ignore it? Be outraged? Offer help?

I have had the privilege of serving on the boards of domestic violence/sexual assault organizations in our state over the last several years. I’m not a victim. Fortunately, I was raised in a great family. I never thought about domestic violence or sexual assault as a problem until about 20 years ago a staff member told me about a young boy, living in a nice rural Kansas community, who drew her a picture so that she would remember what he looked like after his father killed him. Even though that story struck a nerve, I stayed silent, reluctant to get involved. Years later I finally decided I had a voice and I wanted to do something to end this violence.

Too often we ignore that bruise on someone’s face or that timid, almost scared, posture of a co-worker, relative or friend. After all it’s not happening to us and it may mean having an uncomfortable conversation about personal issues. We convince ourselves it will go away or that it’s not as bad as we might imagine. Domestic violence and sexual assault are never all right. It’s a person breaking someone’s nose, burning them with cigarettes, raping or threatening them with greater violence. It’s ugly and it has to stop now.

What an education I have received from dedicated people in our state who are focused on eliminating this oftentimes silent scourge! They are the ones who make sure emergency shelters are open so that at 2 a.m. a victim has somewhere to go. Or they provide training for medical personnel when responding to a rape victim. Currently, I am president of the board for the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV), which is an organization supporting 29 individual programs across our state that provide support, shelter and a voice for those abused and assaulted. From Garden City to Kansas City, Pittsburg to Hays, these programs are literally a lifeline for victims.

Domestic violence and sexual assault have been with us long before the current issues in the NFL. It has been an issue for far too long. What can you do? First, learn about your local program by going to the KCSDV website (www.kcsdv.org) to find out where the closest program is and how you can support them and the coalition. Then add your voice to a growing number of Kansans saying, "Not in my home, not in my business, not in my city, not in my state, NOT EVER will I accept violence." The coalition and the local programs need your voice added to theirs, whether volunteering time, donating a few dollars or just speaking to colleagues that this violence must stop now!

Mark Twain said, "The two most important days of your life are when you were born and when you find out why." I suggest the "why" is to raise your voice for those who can’t… the abused, the raped and those who have died. I urge you to join me and many others across Kansas to speak up and say "Not now! Not ever!"

 

Mark Schreiber picture

Mark Schreiber
President, Board of Directors
Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence

 

PDF of this letter.

Wichita Program Receives Justice Department Grant

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StepStone Receives Justice Department Grant to Serve Survivors of Domestic Violence

For additional information contact: Pat O’Donnell or Dung Kimble 316-265-1611

Wichita, KS – Sept 15, 2014— StepStone has been awarded a $338,150 grant from the Office of Violence Against Women. Program Director Dung Kimble, LMSW said, "This funding will allow us to continue to serve women and children in ways that will do more than just remove them from danger. We will be able to prepare women in area shelters to transition from crisis to a steady track of security and stability."

The award will support new efforts to connect women with employment opportunities that offer more than an existence job. StepStone will seek and develop relationships with community educational and job development resources to better serve each woman. The funding will also allow StepStone to serve additional families beyond the 15 homes in their inventory. Kimble said, "We are developing relationships with owners of rental properties who recognize the benefit of participating in our program."

StepStone’s transitional housing and supportive services takes a long term approach to helping families. "While a short 30 day stay in an emergency shelter is critical for many women, they need more time and support to regain their own confidence and trust in others" says Kimble. "The women we serve can live in our homes for two years, now we will also be able to offer them other financial support when they are ready to leave our program. This approach better prepares the women for a life free from abuse and helps break the repeat cycle of violence seen with children who have experienced family violence."

Kimble says, "We don’t stop after their time in housing with StepStone concludes, families are encouraged to continue in outreach services which include advocacy, therapeutic counseling, support groups, household items, furniture and food boxes or other personal needs as they come up. StepStone has families who have been in outreach for eight years as they continue to attend support groups for the camaraderie and support."

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Background:

StepStone was founded as New Hope in 1995 by the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Since that time some 675 woman and children have been served in transitional housing and supportive services. Women and their children can live in one of 15 homes for up to two years while they gain the skills to become self-sufficient. StepStone provides free therapeutic counseling for women and children.

 

PDF of this release.

NNEDV Applauds NFL's New Plan

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NNEDV Applauds NFL's New Plan to Address Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

August 28, 2014 — The National Network to End Domestic Violence applauds and welcomes the newly released NFL action plan to address domestic violence and sexual assault.

"NNEDV and victim advocates were shocked this summer at the league's two-game suspension of a player who had knocked his girlfriend unconscious," said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. "Today we are pleased and heartened by the NFL's serious plan to proactively address violence against women."

In a letter to team owners and all personnel, NFL Commission Roger Goodell acknowledged that he "didn't get it right" in handling the Ray Rice domestic violence assault, and outlines the NFL's plan to address their internal workplace policies (including education of all personnel on domestic violence and resources for players and their families), player discipline after an assault, outreach to children and youth through college, high school and youth football programs, and broader social change work through public service awareness-raising activities.

"Millions of boys and young men look up to star athletes as role models, heroes and the very definition of masculinity. There's no question that the NFL's proactive stance, and their leadership in the public sphere, will make a real impact on our efforts to end domestic abuse."

NNEDV will continue to work with the NFL in its ongoing efforts to address and prevent violence against women.

"Commissioner Goodell acknowledged his mistake, took ownership of it, and is determined to make the NFL a model for the nation in addressing these complex issues," said Gandy. "This is a huge step, and we are proud to work with the NFL toward ending violence against women."

NNEDV Calls for FVPSA Promise to be Fulfilled on 30th Anniversary

10-09-2014

Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) 30th Anniversary October 9, 2014— October 9, 2014, marks the 30th anniversary of the federal government's first response to domestic violence, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). FVPSA-funded programs are the foundation...

Read more

KCSDV Welcomes Conversation

09-22-2014

State Coalition Welcomes Broader Conversation Contact: 785-232-9784 Topeka, KS – Sept 19, 2014— The firestorm about domestic violence in the NFL and sexual assault on college campuses is not just about professional sports and educational institutions; it is about every community and...

Read more

1 in 4

09-22-2014

Letter to the Editor One in four. What would you do if I told you since this time last year one in four women experienced domestic violence? Ignore it? Be outraged? Offer help? I have had the privilege of serving on the...

Read more

Wichita Program Receives Justice Department Grant

09-22-2014

StepStone Receives Justice Department Grant to Serve Survivors of Domestic Violence For additional information contact: Pat O’Donnell or Dung Kimble 316-265-1611 Wichita, KS – Sept 15, 2014— StepStone has been awarded a $338,150 grant from the Office of Violence Against Women. Program...

Read more

NNEDV Applauds NFL's New Plan

09-02-2014

NNEDV Applauds NFL's New Plan to Address Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault August 28, 2014 — The National Network to End Domestic Violence applauds and welcomes the newly released NFL action plan to address domestic violence and sexual assault. "NNEDV and victim...

Read more

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Employee Recognized

05-06-2014

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Employee Receives Award TOPEKA, KS, May 2, 2014 — Marlou Wegener, employed with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) as manager of community relations and chief operating officer of the Blue Cross...

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Wichita Advocate Honored Nationally

04-09-2014

National award honors Wichita advocate as leader in sexual violence prevention TOPEKA, KS, April 9, 2014 - April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In observance, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s (NSVRC) annual Visionary Voice Award recognizes creativity and hard...

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Nationwide Survey Reveals Urgent Need for Increased Funding for Domestic Violence Service Providers

03-10-2014

Nearly 66,000 Domestic Violence Victims Helped On a Single Day, But Almost 10,000 Requests for Help Go Unanswered Topeka, KS – March 10, 2014— The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) released a new research report last week that found,...

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