NEWARK—New Jersey’s two U.S. senators, Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, today announced more than $195,000 in federal funding to support New Jersey organizations that serve victims of domestic and sexual abuse. The funding, authorized by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), will help two statewide coalitions coordinate victim support.
“This federal funding will help New Jerseyans affected by sexual assault and domestic abuse receive the support they need to protect themselves and recover from violence,” said Lautenberg, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds this program. “These grants were made possible by the Violence Against Women Act, which has served women and families across the country for nearly two decades. The Senate has passed a bipartisan bill that would renew and strengthen VAWA, and House Republicans should vote on the Senate bill instead of playing politics with critical programs for women.”
“This funding underscores why we need partisan Republicans to put politics aside and work with us to renew the Violence Against Women Act,” said Menendez, who successfully fought for bipartisan passage in the Senate of its reauthorization earlier this year. “We must do everything we can to protect victims of domestic violence and their children, and that means fighting to fund these critical services and programs.”
The following New Jersey organizations received federal funding through the grants to State Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Coalitions Program:
- New Jersey Coalition For Battered Women – $80,380
- New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault – $117,344
In New Jersey, more than 74,000 domestic violence offenses were reported by the police in 2010, and since 2006, nearly $30 million in federal funding has been provided to more than 40 domestic violence programs in New Jersey through the Violence Against Women Act.
The Violence Against Women Act was originally enacted in 1994 and has been reauthorized twice—in 2000 and 2005—with unanimous Senate approval. After the most recent extension expired in 2011, the Senate passed a reauthorization bill in April 2012, but the House has refused to consider the bipartisan Senate bill. The law provides federal funding for programs and initiatives designed to help victims, and reauthorization is needed to ensure that local communities and law enforcement agencies get the full resources they need to fight domestic violence.