Administration allocates $200 million to assist survivors of home violence

“As we all know, the pandemic and its economic impact have significantly increased the risk of domestic violence victims of abuse and made it much more difficult for them to seek safety and support,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a news conference in the White House.

The money, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health, is supported through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act program, which is the primary federal funding stream to support emergency shelters and other related assistance for domestic violence victims and their children .

It also provides 296 additional grants to fund domestic violence services in all states and territories, as well as additional funding for tribes, state domestic violence coalitions, national resource centers, specialized services for abused parents, grants for children, and national domestic violence hotlines.

The announcement comes as incidents of domestic violence increased in the U.S. and around the world after lockdowns were put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19. All types of violence against women and girls, especially domestic violence, have intensified in the wake of the pandemic, according to the United Nations, which is calling the rise a “shadow pandemic”.

In the United States, domestic violence incidents rose about 8.1% during pandemic lockdowns, according to an analysis by the National Commission on Covid-19 and Criminal Justice. The study’s authors theorized that economic problems exacerbated domestic violence-related factors such as unemployment, financial insecurity, and stress from childcare and homeschooling.

Domestic violence data is particularly difficult to study because many victims do not report the crimes to the police or their requests are not taken seriously. The stay at home pandemic has further isolated victims from other people who may otherwise have seen signs of abuse or violence.

Resources for Victims of Domestic Violence

National hotline for domestic violence Call 1-800-799-7233 or write LOVEIS at 22522

Available 24/7. Can connect callers to local resources and instant support. Also available through the online chat tool.

National hotline for sexual assault 1-800-656-4673

Provided by RAINN (National Rape, Abuse and Incest Network). Available 24/7. Also available through the online chat tool.

Line of crisis text Write HOME to 741741

Available 24/7 for victims of abuse and any other type of crisis.

Childhelp National Hotline for Child Abuse 1-800-422-4453

Available around the clock in 170 different languages.

Women’s Health Office Helpline 1-800-994-9662

A US Department of Health resource.

Here is a list of the state-organized resources provided by the Women’s Health Office of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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