Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

Family Violence Prevention and Services Act
January 12, 2021
(FVPSA): Background and Funding
Adrienne L. Fernandes-
Family violence broadly refers to acts of physical and sexual violence perpetrated by
Alcantara
individuals against family members. The federal government has responded to various
Specialist in Social Policy
forms of family violence, including violence involving spouses and other intimate

partners, children, and the elderly. The focus of this report is on the federal response to
Kara Clifford Billings
domestic violence under the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA).
Analyst in Social Policy
Domestic violence is used in the report to describe violence among intimate partners,

including those involved in dating relationships. General y speaking, victims tend to be
women, although a sizable share of men are also victimized. A 2015 survey conducted

by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that approximately one-third of women and men
had experienced sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking in their lifetimes. It showed that women were
more likely than men to have experienced contact sexual violence (18% vs. 8%), stalking (10% vs. 2%), and
severe physical violence (21% vs. 15%). Women were also more likely than men to report an impact related to
partner violence over their lifetimes (25% vs 11%). Such impacts included having injuries, being fearful, being
concerned for their safety, missing work or school, needing medical care, or needing help from law enforcement.
Throughout much of the 20th century, domestic violence remained a hidden problem. Victims, or survivors, of this
abuse often endured physical and emotional abuse in silence out of fear of retaliation by their spouses or partners.
In the 1970s, women with personal experiences of abuse, civic organizations, and professionals began to open
shelters and provide services to abused women and their children. As a result of these efforts and greater national
attention to domestic violence, Congress conducted a series of hearings in the early 1980s to understand the scope
of domestic violence and explore possible responses. FVPSA was enacted in 1984 (Title III of P.L. 98-457), and
has been reauthorized seven times, most recently by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-320).
FVPSA authorizes three primary sets of activities, al of which are administered by the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS). These activities are authorized through FY2015, per P.L. 113-320, and funds have
continual y been appropriated in each subsequent year. Enacted annual FY2021 (P.L. 116-260) funding is $201
mil ion, though HHS has not yet determined how funds are to be al ocated for certain activities. Final FY2020
funding was approximately $240 mil ion, including annual FY2020 appropriations (P.L. 116-94) and
supplemental appropriations under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act; P.L.
116-136).
One of the three major FVPSA activities is a national domestic violence hotline that receives cal s for assistance
related to domestic violence. The hotline operator provides crisis intervention and counseling, maintains a
database of service providers throughout the United States and the territories, and provides referrals for victims
and others affected by domestic violence. Second, FVPSA funds efforts to prevent domestic violence through a
program known as Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Al iances (DELTA). The
program supports efforts in selected communities to prevent domestic violence. Third, FVPSA supports direct
services for victims and their families, including victims in underserved communities and children exposed to
domestic violence. Most of this funding is awarded via grants to states, territories, and tribes, which then
distribute the funds to local domestic violence service organizations. These organizations provide shelter and a
number of services—counseling, referrals, development of safety plans, advocacy, legal advocacy, and other
services. This funding also supports state domestic violence coalitions that provide training and support for
service providers, and national resource centers that provide training and technical assistance on various domestic
violence issues for a variety of stakeholders.
FVPSA was the first federal law to address domestic violence. Since the law was enacted, it has continued to have
a primary focus on providing shelter and services for survivors and has increasingly provided support to children
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Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

exposed to domestic violence and teen dating violence. With the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act of
1994 (VAWA, P.L. 103-322), the federal response to domestic violence has expanded to include investigating and
prosecuting crimes and providing additional services to victims and abusers. VAWA activities are administered by
multiple federal agencies.
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Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................... 1
Background.................................................................................................................... 2
Definitions ............................................................................................................... 2
Risk Factors for Domestic Violence.............................................................................. 4
Profiles of Survivors .................................................................................................. 4

National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey ............................................... 5
National Crime Victimization Survey ...................................................................... 6
Effects of Domestic Violence ...................................................................................... 6
Domestic Violence: Development of the Issue ..................................................................... 7
Congressional Response ............................................................................................. 8
FVPSA Overview ........................................................................................................... 9
Funding ....................................................................................................................... 10
Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances (DELTA) ....... 13
DELTA Prep ........................................................................................................... 14
DELTA FOCUS ...................................................................................................... 14
DELTA Impact ........................................................................................................ 14

National Domestic Violence Hotline ................................................................................ 15
National Domestic Violence Hotline Study .................................................................. 16
Overview of Shelters, Services, and Support ..................................................................... 17
Formula Grants to States, Territories, and Tribes........................................................... 17
Selected Grant Conditions Pertaining to Use and Distribution of Funds ...................... 19
Selected Grant Conditions Pertaining to Victims ..................................................... 21
State Domestic Violence Coalitions ............................................................................ 21
Resource Centers..................................................................................................... 23
Demonstration Projects .................................................................................................. 23
Teen Dating Violence..................................................................................................... 24
Background ............................................................................................................ 24
Children Exposed to Domestic Violence ........................................................................... 24
Background ............................................................................................................ 24
Specialized Services for Abused Parents and Their Children/Expanding Services for
Children and Youth Exposed to Domestic Violence .................................................... 25
FVPSA Interaction with Other Federal Laws ..................................................................... 27
Child Abuse and Neglect .......................................................................................... 27
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)........................................................................ 28
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA)................................................................................... 29
Federal Coordination ..................................................................................................... 30

Figures
Figure 1. Summary of FVPSA Activities and the Funding Al ocation Formula for Shelter,
Services, and Supports ................................................................................................ 10
Figure 2. Al ocations for Activities Funded under Domestic Violence Shelters, Victim
Services, and Program Support, FY2020 ........................................................................ 17
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Figure 3. Residential Clients and Unmet Requests for Shelter at FVPSA-Funded Shelters,
FY2014-FY2018 ........................................................................................................ 19

Tables
Table 1. Actual Funding for FVPSA Activities, FY1995-FY2020.......................................... 11

Table A-1. Definitions of Domestic Violence and Related Terms in Federal Statute ................. 32
Table B-1. Lifetime and 12-Month Prevalence of Violence Committed by an
Intimate Partner and Related Impacts ............................................................................ 33
Table C-1. FVPSA Formula Grant Funding for Shelter and Supportive Services for States
and Territories, FY2019 and FY2020............................................................................. 35

Appendixes
Appendix A. Definitions ................................................................................................ 32
Appendix B. Prevalence and Effects of Domestic Violence .................................................. 33
Appendix C. State and Territory Funding for Selected FVPSA Services................................. 35

Contacts
Author Information ....................................................................................................... 37


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Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

Introduction
This report provides an overview of the federal response to domestic violence—defined broadly
to include acts of physical and nonphysical violence against spouses and other intimate
partners—through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA).1 FVPSA programs
are carried out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’s) Administration
for Children and Families (ACF) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
ACF administers most FVPSA programming, including grants to states, territories, and Indian
tribes to support local organizations that provide immediate shelter and related assistance for
victims of domestic violence and their children. ACF also provides funding for a privately
operated national domestic violence hotline that responds to cal s, texts, and web-based chats
from individuals seeking assistance. The funding for ACF also supports state domestic violence
coalitions that provide training for and advocacy on behalf of domestic violence providers within
each state, as wel as multiple resource centers that provide training and technical assistance on
various domestic violence issues for a variety of stakeholders. The CDC funds efforts to prevent
domestic violence through a program known as Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and
Leadership Through Al iances (DELTA). The House Committee on Education and Labor and the
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee have exercised jurisdiction over
FVPSA.
The report begins with background on the definitions of domestic violence and related terms.
This background section also describes the risk factors for domestic violence and estimates of the
number of victims. The next section of the report addresses the history leading up to the
enactment of FVPSA, and the major components of the act: a national domestic violence hotline,
support for domestic violence shelters and nonresidential services, and community-based
responses to prevent domestic violence. The report then discusses efforts under FVPSA to assist
children and youth exposed to domestic violence, including teen dating violence.
Final y, the report provides an overview of FVPSA’s interaction with other federal laws,
including the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and the Violence Against
Women Act of 1994 (VAWA, P.L. 103-322). FVPSA was the first federal law to address domestic
violence, with a focus on providing shelter and services for survivors. Since the enactment of
VAWA in 1994, the federal response to domestic violence has expanded to involve multiple
departments and activities that include investigating and prosecuting crimes and providing
additional services to victims and abusers. FVPSA also includes provisions that encourage or
require program administrators to coordinate FVPSA programs with related programs and
research carried out by other federal agencies. The appendices provide further detail about
FVPSA-related definitions and funding and statistics related to domestic violence victimization.2

1 T he law is codified at 42 U.S.C. §10401 et seq. T he regulations for the program are at 45 C.F.R. 137 0. A final rule
from 2016 amended the regulations. See U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for
Children and Families (ACF), “Family Violence Prevention and Services,” 81 Federal Register 212, October 14, 2015.
2 For other CRS products about domestic violence, see CRS Report R45410, The Violence Against Women Act
(VAWA): Historical Overview, Funding, and Reauthorization
, and CRS In Focus IF11592, Federal Support for
Providing Housing to Individuals Experiencing Dom estic Violence
.
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Federal Support for Domestic Violence in the Context of COVID-19
Empirical research and anecdotal information from organizations that serve domestic violence victims indicate that
disasters and emergencies can heighten the frequency and severity of abuse.3 In the current context of the
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, some abusers may exert further power and control over their
partners because of the stress caused by economic and other uncertainties surrounding the pandemic.4 Victims
may be less likely to use crisis hotlines with their abusers close by, and may face repercussions if they reach out
for help.5
Federal lawmakers addressed domestic violence in COVID-19 response legislation enacted in March 2020. The
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act; P.L. 116-136) provided additional FY2020
funding of $2 mil ion for the national domestic violence hotline, including hotline services provided remotely, and
$45 mil ion for FVPSA formula grants—both available through September 30, 2021. The Coronavirus
Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-123) also provided funding to the
CDC, and the agency used $1.6 mil ion of such funds for Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and
Leadership Through Al iances (DELTA) grants.6 The law specifies that FVPSA subgrantees are not required to
provide a match as they usual y would be with regular appropriations. In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,
ACF issued guidance that advises how FVPSA funds can be expended, including for staff, food, toiletries, and
supplies at shelters, among other items.7 Funds may not be given directly to victims. ACF has also issued other
guidance that provides flexibilities for applicants and grantees in programs conducting human service activities
related to COVID-19. Separately, FVPSA-funded training and technical assistance centers are sharing resources for
serving DV victims during the pandemic.
Background
Definitions
The FVPSA statute focuses on family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence. Family
violence can involve many types of family relationships and forms of violence. FVPSA defines
the term as acts of violence or threatened acts of violence, including forced detention, that result
in physical injury against individuals (including elderly individuals) who are legal y related by
blood or marriage and/or live in the same household.8 This definition focuses on physical forms
of violence and is limited to abusers and victims9 who live together or are related by blood or
marriage; however, researchers and others general y agree that family violence is broad enough to
include nonphysical violence and physical violence that occurs outside of an intimate

3 Julie A. Schumacher et al, “Intimate partner violence and Hurricane Katrina: Predictors and Associated Mental Health
Outcomes,” Violence and Victim s, vol. 25, no. 5 (2010), pp. 588-603; Alisha Haridasani Gupta and Aviva Stahl, “ For
Abused Women, a Pandemic Lockdown Holds Dangers of Its Own,” New York Times March 24, 2020; National
Domestic Violence Hotline, “Staying Safe During COVID-19,” March 13, 2020, https://www.thehotline.org/2020/03/
13/staying-safe-during-covid-19.
4 National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, “Power and Control Wheel,” http://www.ncdsv.org/images/
PowerControlwheelNOSHADING.pdf.
5 MJ Lee, “Visits to New York City’s domestic violence website surged amid coronavirus pandemic,” CNN.com, April
7, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/07/us/nyc-domestic-violence-website-surging/index.html.
6 Based on correspondence with HHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), September 2020.
7 HHS, ACF, FAQs on Allowable Use of FVPSA Funds During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency,
https://www.acf.hhs.gov/fysb/news/faqs-on-allowable-use-of-fvpsa-funds-during-the-covid-19-public-health-
emergency; and HHS, ACF, FY 2020 CARES Act Supplem ental Funding Guidance for FVPSA Form ula Grantees:
Abbreviated Application Process Mem o, Allowable Use of Funds, and Reporting Instructions
, https://www.acf.hhs.gov/
fysb/resource/fvpsa-cares-act-supplemental-award-information-formula-grantees.
8 42 U.S.C. §10402(4) (Definitions).
9 T his term is sometimes used interchangeably wit h the word survivors.
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relationship.10 Such a definition can encompass a range of scenarios—rape and other forms of
sexual violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner who may or may not
live in the same household; stalking by a current or former spouse or partner; abuse and neglect
of elderly family members and children; and psychological y tormenting and controlling a
spouse, intimate partner, or other member of the household.
While family violence can encompass child abuse and elder abuse, FVPSA programs focus on
individuals abused by their spouses and other intimate partners. FVPSA references the terms
“domestic violence” and “dating violence” as they are defined under VAWA, and discusses these
terms alongside family violence. (The FVPSA regulations also define these terms as general y
consistent with VAWA, but recognize that the term “dating violence” encompasses additional
acts.)11 The VAWA definition of “domestic violence” encompasses forms of intimate partner
violence—involving current and former spouses or individuals who are similarly situated to a
spouse, cohabiting individuals, and parents of children in common—that are outlawed under state
or local laws. VAWA defines “dating violence” as violence committed by a person who has been
in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence
of such a relationship is determined based on consideration of the length of the relationship, the
type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the individuals involved.
(Appendix A provides a summary of these and related terms as they are defined in statute.)
The federal government responds to child abuse and elder abuse through a variety of separate
programs. Federal law authorizes and funds a range of activities to prevent and respond to child
abuse and neglect under Titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act and CAPTA.12
Separately, the Older Americans Act (OAA), the major federal vehicle for the delivery of social
and nutrition services for older persons, has authorized projects to address elder abuse. In
addition, the OAA authorizes, and the federal government funds, the National Center on Elder
Abuse. The center provides information to the public and professionals regarding elder abuse
prevention activities, and provides training and technical assistance to state elder abuse agencies
and to community-based organizations.13 The Social Services Block Grant, as amended, also
includes elder justice provisions, including several grant programs and other activities to promote
the safety and wel -being of older Americans.14

10 Roger J.R. Levesque, Culture and Violence: Fostering Change Through Human Rights Law (Washington, DC:
American Psychological Association, 2001), p. 13.
11 T he 2016 final rule that amended the regulations for FVPSA notes with regard to “family violence” and “domestic
violence,” “the [social service] field and Congress have used the term int erchangeably for decades.” T he final rule also
notes that HHS sought to broaden the definition of “domestic violence,” starting that “Given the continuum of
behaviors constituting ‘domestic violence’ identified in FVPSA, and the broader protections embodied in State and
other jurisdictional law, [HHS/]ACF will interpret ‘domestic violence’ as inclusive of additional acts recognized in
other Federal, State, local, and tribal laws, as well as acts in other Federal regulatory and sub-regulatory guidance.”
Note that this definition is not intended to be interpreted “ more restrictively than FVPSA and VAWA but rather to be
inclusive of other, more expansive definitions.” HHS, Family Violence Prevention and Services,” 81 Federal Register
212, November 2, 2016.
12 For further information, see CRS Report R43458, Child Welfare: An Overview of Federal Programs and Their
Current Funding
.
13 For further information, see CRS Report R43414, Older Americans Act: Overview and Funding; and HHS, Office on
Women’s Health, Overview of Violence Against Women Activities 2010-2011, June 25, 2012 (hereinafter, “HHS,
Office on Women’s Health, Overview of Violence Against Women Activities 2010-2011”).
14 For further information, see CRS Report 94-953, Social Services Block Grant: Background and Funding.
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Risk Factors for Domestic Violence
The evidence base on domestic violence does not point strongly to any one reason that it is
perpetrated, in part because of the difficulty in measuring social conditions (e.g., status of
women, gender norms, and socioeconomic status, among others) that can influence this violence.
Stil , the research literature has identified two underlying influences: the unequal position of
women and the normalization of violence, both in society and some relationships.15 Certain risk
variables are often associated with—but not necessarily the causes—of domestic violence. Such
factors include a pattern of problem drinking, poverty and economic conditions, and early
parenthood.16 For example, substance abuse often precedes incidents of domestic violence. A U.S.
Department of Justice (DOJ) study found that substance abuse tracked closely with homicide,
attempted homicide, or the most severe violent incidents of abuse perpetrated against an intimate
partner. Among men who kil ed or attempted to kil their intimate partners, over 80% were
problem drinkers in the year preceding the incident.17
Profiles of Survivors
Estimating the number of individuals involved in domestic violence is complicated by the varying
definitions of the term and methodologies for collecting data. For example, some research counts
a boyfriend or girlfriend as a family relationship while other research does not; stil other surveys
are limited to specific types of violence and whether violence is reported to police. Certain studies
focus more broadly on various types of violence or more narrowly on violence committed among
intimate partners. In addition, domestic violence is general y believed to be underreported.
Survivors may be reluctant to disclose their victimization because of shame, embarrassment, fear,
or belief that they may not receive support from law enforcement.18
Overal , two studies—the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) and the
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)—show that violence involving intimate partners is
not uncommon, and that both women and men are victimized sexual y, physical y, and
psychological y.19 Women tend to first be victimized at a younger age than men. Further, Native
American and Black women and men tend to be victimized at higher rates than their White,
Hispanic, and Asian counterparts.

15 Rachel Jewkes, “Intimate Partner Violence: Causes and Prevention,” The Lancet, vol. 359 (April 20, 2002), pp.
1423-1429.
16 U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), “Causes and
Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence,” http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/intimate-partner-violence/Pages/
welcome.aspx.
17 Phyllis Sharps et al., “Risky Mix: Drinking, Drug Use, and Homicide,” NIJ Journal, no. 250 (November 2003). T he
abused women studied were between the ages of 18 and 50 and were romantically or sexually involved with the
perpetrator at some time during the past two years. A woman was categorized as abused if she had been physically
assaulted, threatened with serious violence, or stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
18 Sharon G. Smith et al., The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 -2012 State Report,
HHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Hereinafter, Sharon G. Smith et al., The National Intim ate
Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 -2012 State Report
.)
19 Sharon G. Smith et al., The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2015 Data Brief - Updated
Release
, HHS, CDC, November 2018 (hereinafter, “ Sharon G. Smith et al., The National Intim ate Partner and Sexual
Violence Survey: 2015 Data Brief - Updated Release
”). See also, Jennifer L. T ruman and Rachel E. Morgan, Crim inal
Victim ization, 2016,
T able 2, DOJ, OJP, BJS, December 2017 (hereinafter, “ Jennifer L. T ruman and Rachel E. Morgan,
Crim inal Victim ization, 2016”).
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National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
NISVS provides information on the prevalence of domestic violence among individuals during
their lifetimes and in the past 12 months prior to the survey. The CDC conducted the study
annual y in each of 2010-2012 and in 2015.20 The survey examines multiple aspects of intimate
partner violence—including contact sexual violence, which encompasses rape and other acts;
physical violence, including slapping, kicking, and more severe acts like being burned; and
stalking, which is a pattern of harassing or threatening tactics. Select findings from the study are
summarized in Table B-1. General y, the 2015 survey found that women and men were
victimized at similar rates over their lifetime.21 Over one-third (36%) of women and more than
one-third (34%) of men in the United States reported that they experienced sexual violence,
physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. However, women were
more likely than men to experience certain types of intimate partner violence, including contact
sexual violence (18% vs. 8%), stalking (10% vs. 2%), and severe physical violence (21% vs.
15%). Women were also much more likely than men to report an impact related to partner
violence over their lifetimes (25% vs 11%). Such impacts included having injuries, being fearful,
being concerned for their safety, missing work or school, needing medical care, or needing help
from law enforcement.
Women and men of color, particularly individuals who are multiracial, tended to experience
domestic violence at higher lifetime rates. As reported in the 2010 NISVS, women who are
multiracial (57%) were most likely to report contact sexual violence, physic al violence, and/or
stalking by an intimate partner, followed by American Indian or Alaska Native women (48%),
Black women (45%), White women (37%), Hispanic women of any race (34%), and Asian or
Pacific Islander women (18%).22 Among men, those who were Black (40%) and multiracial
(39%) were more likely to experience intimate partner violence than White (32%) and Hispanic
(29%) men; estimates were not reported for American Indian or Alaska Native or Asian or Pacific
Islander males because the data were unreliable.
Special Populations
The 2010 NISVS examined the prevalence of this violence based on how adult respondents
identified their sexual orientation (heterosexual or straight, gay or lesbian, or bisexual). The study
found that overal , bisexual women had significantly higher lifetime prevalence of sexual
violence, physical violence, and stalking by an intimate partner when compared to both lesbian
and heterosexual women.23

20 Sharon G. Smith et al., The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 -2012 State Report.
T he NISVS is a national random telephone survey of the noninstitutionalized English and/or Spanish-speaking U.S.
population age 18 and older. T he study is coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at
HHS, and developed and fielded with support from DOJ and the Department of Defense (DOD). T erms such as
“physical violence” and “stalking” are defined in the report. Over the 2010 -2012 period, more than 41,000 interviews
were completed; and in 2015 more than 10,000 interviews were completed. National estimates were derived based on
statistical weights applied to the percentages of respondents who experience domestic violence.
21 In addition, about 5% of women and men had experienced these acts within the past year. Sharon G. Smith et al., The
National Intim ate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2015 Data Brief - Updated Release
.
22 Sharon G. Smith et al., The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010-2012 State Report,
HHS, CDC, April 2017. Reports on the more recent 2015 survey do not include data on race and ethnicity.
23 Mikel L. Walters, Jieru Chen, and Matthew J. Breiding, The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
(NISVS): 2010 Findings on Victim ization by Sexual Orientation,
HHS, CDC, January 2013. For some types of
violence, prevalence estimates for particular groups (e.g., gay or bisexual men and lifetime prevalence of rape by any
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The 2010 NISVS also surveyed women on active duty in the military and the wives of active duty
men. These women were asked to respond to whether they experienced intimate partner violence
over their lifetime and during the four years prior to the survey. The study found that the majority
of women affiliated with the military were significantly less likely to be victims of intimate
partner violence compared to women in the general population. However, active duty women
who were deployed during the three years prior to the survey were significantly more likely to
have experienced intimate partner violence during this period and over their lifetime compared to
active duty women who were not deployed. Among those who deployed, 12% had been victims
of physical violence, rape, or stalking by an intimate partner during the past three years and 35%
had experienced victimization over their lifetime. This is compared to 10% (during the past three
years) and 28% (lifetime prevalence) of women who had not deployed.24
National Crime Victimization Survey
The National Crime Victimization Survey is a survey coordinated by DOJ’s Bureau of Justice
Statistics within the Office of Justice Programs.25 NCVS surveys a national y representative
sample of households. It is the primary source of information on the characteristics of criminal
nonfatal victimization and on the number and types of crimes that may or may not be reported to
law enforcement authorities. NCVS surveyed respondents about whether they have been victims
of a violent crime, including rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault;
and for victims, the relationship to the perpetrator.26 The survey reports the share of crimes that
are committed by an intimate partner (current or former spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends), other
family members, friends/acquaintances, or strangers. The survey found that nearly 600,000
individuals were victims of intimate partner violence in 2016.27 An earlier NCVS study examined
changes in the rate of intimate partner violence over time. The study found that the number of
female victims of domestic violence declined from 1.8 mil ion in 1994 to about 621,000 in 2011.
Over this period, the rate of serious intimate partner violence—rape or sexual assault, robbery,
and aggravated assault—declined by 72% for females and 64% for males. Approximately 4% of
females and 8% of males who were victimized by intimate partners were shot at, stabbed, or hit
with a weapon over the period from 2002 through 2011.28
Effects of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is associated with multiple negative outcomes for victims, including mental
and emotional distress and health effects. The 2015 NISVS study found that these effects
appeared to be greater for women. About 1 in 4 women (25.1%) and 1 in 10 men (10.9%) who

perpetrator) were too small to produce reliable estimates and were not reported.
24 Michele C. Black and Melissa T . Merrick, Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking
am ong Active Duty Wom en and Wives of Active Duty Men —Com parisons with Wom en in the General Population,
2010,
T echnical Report, HHS, CDC, March 2013.
25 Jennifer L. T ruman and Rachel E. Morgan, Criminal Victimization, 2016.
26 T hese terms are defined at DOJ, OJP, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), “All T erms and Definitions,”
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tda.
27 Jennifer L. T ruman and Rachel E. Morgan, Criminal Victimization, 2016, T able 2.
28 Shannan Catalano, Intimate Partner Violence: Attributes of Victimization, 1993 -2011, DOJ, OJP, BJS, November
2013. See also a study of the FBI’s Supplemental Homicide Reports: James Alan Fox and Emma E. Fridel, “ Gender
Differences in Patterns and T rends in U.S. Homicide,” 1976-2015, Violence and Gender, vol. 4, no, 2, 2017. T he study
found that nearly half of all female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner, compared to 5% of male homicide
victims. Intimate partner homicides decreased over the period from 1976 to 2015.
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experienced sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their
lifetime reported at least one impact as a result of this violence, including being fearful; being
concerned for their safety or having an injury or need for medical care; needing help from law
enforcement; missing at least one day of work; or missing at least one day of school.29
Domestic Violence: Development of the Issue
Early marriage laws in the United States permitted men to hit their wives, and throughout much
of the 20th century family violence remained a hidden problem.30 Victims, mostly women, often
endured physical and emotional abuse in silence. These victims were hesitant to seek help
because of fear of retaliation by their spouses/partners and concerns about leaving their homes,
children, and neighborhoods behind. Women were worried that they would be perceived as
deviant or mental y unstable or would be unable to get by financial y. In addition, victims were
often blamed for their abuse, based on stereotypical notions of women (e.g., demanding,
aggressive, and frigid, among other characteristics).31
In the 1960s, shelters and services for victims of domestic violence became available on a limited
basis; however, these services were not always targeted specifical y to victims per se. Social
service and religious organizations provided temporary housing for displaced persons general y,
which could include homeless and abused women. In addition, a smal number of organizations
provided services to abused women who were married to alcoholic men. Beginning in the 1970s,
the “battered women’s movement” began to emerge; it sought to heighten awareness of women
who were abused by spouses and partners. The movement developed from influences both abroad
and within the United States. In England, the first battered women’s shelter, Chiswick Women’s
Aid, galvanized support to establish similar types of services. In addition, the feminist movement
in the United States increasingly brought greater national attention to the issue.32
As part of the battered women’s movement, former battered women, civic organizations, and
professionals opened shelters and began to provide services to victims, primarily abused women
and their children.33 Shelters were most often located in old homes, at Young Women’s Christian
Association (YWCA) centers, or housed in institutional settings, such as motels or abandoned
orphanages.
In addition to providing shelter, groups in the battered women’s movement organized coalitions
to combine resources for public education on the issue, support groups for victims, and services
that were lacking. For example, the YWCA and Women in Crisis Can Act formed a hotline for
abused women in Chicago. These and other groups convened the Chicago Abused Women’s
Coalition to address concerns about services for battered women. The coalition spoke to hundreds
of community groups and professional agencies about battered women’s stories, explained the
significance of violence, detailed how violence becomes sanctioned, dispel ed common myths,

29 Sharon G. Smith et al., The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2015 Data Brief -
Updated Release
.
30 Ola W. Barnett, Cindy L. Miller-Perrin, and Robin D. Perrin, Family Violence Across the Life Span, 3rd ed.
(T housand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2011), pp. 14-15 (hereinafter, “ Ola W. Barnett, Cindy L. Miller-Perrin, and
Robin D. Perrin, Fam ily Violence Across the Life Span”).
31 Susan Schechter, Women and Male Violence: The Visions and Struggles of the Battered Women’s Movement
(Boston: South End Press, 1982), pp. 12-20 (hereinafter, “ Susan Schechter, Wom en and Male Violence: The Visions
and Struggles of the Battered Women’s Movement
”).
32 Ola W. Barnett, Cindy L. Miller-Perrin, and Robin D. Perrin, Family Violence Across the Life Span, p. 15.
33 Susan Schechter, Women and Male Violence: The Visions and Struggles of the Battered Women’s Movement.
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Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

and chal enged community members to provide funding and other support to assist abused
women. The coalition mobilized around passage of a state law to protect women and require
police training on domestic violence, among other accomplishments.34
Based on a survey in the late 1970s, 111 shelters were believed to be operating across al states
and in urban, suburban, and rural communities. These shelters general y reported that they
provided a safe and secure environment for abused women and their children, emotional support
and counseling for abused women, and information on legal rights and assistance w ith housing,
among other supports. Approximately 90 of these shelters fielded over 110,000 cal s for
assistance in a given year.35
Around this same time, the public became increasingly aware of domestic violence. In 1983, Time
magazine published an article, “Wife Beating: The Silent Crime,” as part of a series of articles on
violence in the United States. The article stated: “There is nothing new about wife beating….
What is new is that in the U.S. wife beating is no longer widely accepted as an inevitable and
private matter. The change in attitude, while far from complete, has come about in the past 10 to
15 years as part of the profound transformation of ideas about the roles and rights of women in
society.”36 In 1984, then-U.S. Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti established the Department of
Justice Task Force on Family Violence, which issued a report examining the scope and impact of
domestic violence in America. The report also provided recommendations to improve the nation’s
law enforcement, criminal justice, and community response to offenses that were previously
considered “family matters.”37
Congressional Response
Largely as a result of efforts by advocates and the Justice Department, Congress began to take an
interest in domestic violence issues. The House Select Committee on Children, Youth, and
Families conducted a series of hearings in 1983 and 1984 on child abuse and family violence
throughout the country, to understand the scope of family violence better and explore possible
federal responses to the problem. The committee heard from victims, domestic violence service
providers, researchers, law enforcement officials, and other stakeholders about the possible
number of victims and the need for additional victim services. In 1984, the Family Violenc e
Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) was enacted as Title III of the Child Abuse Amendments of
1984 (P.L. 98-457). Title I of that law amended the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
(CAPTA), and most of the seven subsequent reauthorizations of FVPSA have occurred as part of
legislation that reauthorized CAPTA.38 This includes the most recent reauthorization (P.L. 111-
320), which extended funding authority for FVPSA through FY2015. As discussed later in this
report, Congress subsequently broadened the federal response to domestic violence with the
enactment of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.

34 Ibid.
35 Albert B. Roberts, Sheltering Battered Women: A National Study and Service Guide (New York: Springer Publishing
Company, 1981), pp. 7-11.
36 Jane O'Reilly, Barbara B. Dolan, and Elizabeth T aylor, “Wife Beating: T he Silent Crime,” Time, September 5, 1983.
37 DOJ, OJP, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), The History of the Violence Against Women Act,
http://www.ncdsv.org/images/OVW_HistoryVAWA.pdf.
38 CAPT A was originally enacted in 1974 (P.L. 93-247) to create a federal focus for responding to child abuse and
neglect and authorizing support for training and technical assistance to improve child protective serv ices.
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link to page 15 Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

FVPSA Overview
As original y enacted, FVPSA included both a social service and law enforcement response to
preventing and responding to domestic violence. Grants were authorized for states, territories, and
Indian tribes to establish and expand programs to prevent domestic violence and provide shelter
for victims. In addition, the law authorized grants to provide training and technical assistance to
law enforcement personnel, and this funding was ultimately used to train law enforcement
personnel throughout the country. From FY1986 through FY1994, funding for these grants was
transferred from HHS to DOJ, which carried out the grants under the Office for Victims of Crime
(OVC). DOJ used the funding for 23 projects to train law enforcement officers on domestic
violence policies and response procedures, with approximately 16,000 law enforcement officers
and other justice system personnel from 25 states receiving this training. The training emphasized
officers as participants working with other agencies, victims, and community groups in a
coordinated response to domestic violence.39
Over time, FVPSA was expanded to include support of other activities, including state domestic
violence coalitions and grants that focus on prevention activities; however, authorization of
funding for FVPSA law enforcement training grants was discontinued in 1992, just before the
Violence Against Women Act of 1994 authorized similar activities. Specifical y, VAWA
authorizes training and support of law enforcement officials under the Services, Training,
Officers, and Prosecutors (STOP) Grant program.
FVPSA currently authorizes three major activities: domestic violence prevention activities under
a program known as DELTA; the national domestic violence hotline; and domestic violence
shelters, services, and program support. The CDC administers the DELTA program. The Family
and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) in HHS/ACF administers funding for the hotline and the
domestic violence shelters, victim services, and program support.
The three primary activities funded under FVPSA are shown in Figure 1. Funding for shelters,
victim services, and program support is al ocated based on a formula in the FVPSA statute, which
is described in the figure.40

39 DOJ, OJP, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Report to Congress, July 1996; and Lisa C. Newmark, Adele V.
Harrell, and William Adams, Evaluation of Police Training Conducted Under the Fam ily Violence Prevention and
Services Act
, Urban Institute, June 26, 1995.
40 42 U.S.C. §10403 (Authorization of appropriations).
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link to page 16
Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

Figure 1. Summary of FVPSA Activities and the Funding Allocation Formula for
Shelter, Services, and Supports

Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS).
Funding
Authorization of funding under FVPSA has been extended multiple times, most recently through
FY2015 by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-320). For each of FY2011-
FY2015, the law authorized funding of $175 mil ion for domestic violence shelters, victim
services, and program support; $3.5 mil ion for the national domestic violence hotline; and $6
mil ion for DELTA. Congress may appropriate funding for programs with an expired
authorization of appropriations, which has been the case for FVPSA activities in subsequent
years. Table 1 includes actual funding from FY1995 through FY2020 for the three FVPSA
activities, which has general y increased over time but includes reductions in some years.
Congress appropriated $241.1 mil ion for FY2020, the highest total to date, via regular
appropriations and supplemental appropriations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.41

41 T his includes $175 million for domestic violence shelters, victim services, and program support; $12 million for the
national domestic violence hotline and $5.5 million for HHS CDC to administer DELT A provided by the Further
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-94), and a $2 million supplemental appropriation for the hotline and
$45 million for shelters, victim services, and program support prov ided by the CARES Act (P.L. 116-136). The
Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 ( P.L. 116-123) also provided funding
to CDC, and the agency used $1.6 million of such funds for DELT A grants, which is included in the total.
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link to page 17 link to page 17 link to page 17 link to page 17 link to page 17 link to page 17 link to page 17 link to page 17 link to page 17 link to page 17 link to page 17 link to page 17 link to page 18 Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

Enacted FY2021 appropriations are $204 mil ion, of which $185.5 mil ion is for shelter, services,
and support; $13 mil ion is for the hotline and $5.5 mil ion is for DELTA.42 HHS has not yet
determined how funds are to be al ocated among shelters, victims, and program support.
Table 1. Actual Funding for FVPSA Activities, FY1995-FY2020
Domestic
Violence
Shelters,

National
Victim
Domestic
Services, and
Violence
Program
DELTA
Hotline
Support
Total

FY1995
N/A
$1,000,000
$32,645,000
$33,645,000
FY1996
N/A
$400,000
$47,642,500
$48,042,500
FY1997
N/A
$400,000
$72,800,000
$73,200,000
FY1998
N/A
$1,200,000
$86,642,206
$87,842,206
FY1999
$5,998,000
$1,200,000
$88,778,000
$95,976,000
FY2000
$5,866,000
$1,957,000
$101,118,000
$108,941,000
FY2001
$5,866,000
$2,157,000
$116,899,000
$124,922,000
FY2002
$5,866,000
$2,157,000
$124,459,000
$132,482,000
FY2003
$5,828,000
$2,157,000
$124,459,000
$132,444,000
FY2004
$5,303,000
$2,982,000
$125,648,000
$133,933,000
FY2005
$5,258,000
$3,224,000
$125,630,000
$134,112,000
FY2006
$5,181,000
$2,970,000
$124,643,000
$132,794,000
FY2007
$5,110,000
$2,970,000
$124,731,000
$132,811,000
FY2008
$5,021,000
$2,918,000
$122,552,000
$130,491,000
FY2009
$5,511,000
$3,209,000
$127,776,000
$136,496,000
FY2010a
$5,525,000
$3,209,000
$130,052,000
$138,786,000
FY2011
$5,423,000
$3,202,000
$129,792,000
$138,417,000
FY2012
$5,411,000
$3,197,000
$129,547,000
$138,155,000
FY2013b
$5,350,000
$2,992,000
$121,225,000
$129,552,000
FY2014c
$5,414,000
$4,500,000
$133,521,000
$143,221,000
FY2015c
$5,414,000
$4,500,000
$135,000,000
$144,914,000
FY2016c
$5,500,000
$8,250,000
$150,000,000
$163,750,000
FY2017c,d
$5,487,000
$8,223,479
$150,517,702
$164,210,518
FY2018c,e
$5,500,000
$9,250,000
$158,398,811
$173,148,811
FY2019c,f
$5,481,000
$10,250,000
$163,914,699
$179,645,699
FY2020c,g
$7,100,000
$14,000,000
$219,985,157
$241,085,157

42 U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, 116th Cong., 2nd sess., Committee Print to Accompany Further
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (H.R. 133), which was enacted as P.L. 116-260.
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Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families
(ACF), FY1998-FY2021 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees; and Congressional Research Service
correspondence with HHS, ACF and HHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), September and
November 2012, April 2016, August 2017, November 2018, and September 2020; HHS, ACF, ACF Op erating
Plans FY2013-FY2020; HHS, CDC, CDC Operating Plans FY2013-FY2020; U.S. Congress, House Committee on
Rules, 113th Cong., 2nd sess., Committee Print 113-32 to the Senate Amendment to the Consolidated
Appropriations Act, 2014 (H.R. 3547), which was enacted as P.L. 113-76; Consolidated and Further Continuing
Appropriations Act, 2015 (P.L. 113-235); U.S. Congress, House Committee on Rules, 114th Cong., 1st sess., Rules
Committee Print 114-39 to accompany the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (H.R. 2029), which was
enacted as P.L. 114-113; U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Congressional Record, vol. 163, part No. 76,
Book III (May 3, 2017), p. H3952 and p. H3994; U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Congressional Record,
vol., 164, part No. 50, Book III (March 22, 2018), p. H2700 and p. H2745; and U.S. Congress, House of
Representatives, 115th Cong., 2nd sess., Conference Report to Accompany Department of Defense and Labor,
Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019
(H.R. 6157), which was enacted as P.L. 115-245; and U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, 116th Cong., 2nd
sess., Committee Print to Accompany Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 1865), which was
enacted as P.L. 116-94.
Notes: Funding is al ocated for Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Al iances
(DELTA) via HHS/CDC; and shelters, victim services, and program support and the national domestic violence
hotline via HHS/ACF. N/A means not applicable.
a. Funding for FY2010 was just over $130 mil ion. When FY2010 dol ars were appropriated in December
2009, FVPSA required that “a portion of the excess” (of funds for shelters, victim services, and program
support) above $130 mil ion was to be reserved for projects to address the needs of children who witness
domestic violence. This rule was triggered in FY2010 and the excess funding went to a grant program,
Expanding Services for Children and Youth Exposed to Domestic Violence. FVPSA was reauthorized in
December 2010, and this provision was changed to require that when the appropriation exceeds $130
mil ion, HHS must first reserve 25% of the excess funding for specialized services for abused parents and
children exposed to domestic violence (42 U.S.C. §10403(a)(2)(A)(i)).
b. The final appropriations law for FY2013 was Consolidated and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 ( P.L.
113-6). The FY2013 funding levels provided were based on the operating plan provided by HHS to
Congress. This funding included a 0.2% rescission, per P.L. 113-6, and a sequestered amount of 5.0%, per
the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25), as amended by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
(P.L. 112-240).
c. Funding exceeded $130 mil ion in each of FY2014 through FY2020, triggering the requirement under FVPSA
that HHS must first reserve 25% of the excess funding for specialized services for abused parents and
children exposed to domestic violence. The FY2016 appropriations request notes that “[i]n previous
budgets [FY2013 through FY2015], this provision was overridden in order to direct resources to shelters.”
HHS, ACF, FY2016 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees, p. 212; and based on
correspondence with HHS, ACF, April 2016. Since FY2016, HHS has al ocated funds for specialized services
for abused parents and their children. In FY2020, HHS reserved $7.2 mil ion for these purposes (CRS
correspondence with HHS, ACF in September 2020).
d. The final appropriations law for HHS was the Consolidated and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2017 ( P.L.
115-31). The FY2017 funding levels provided are based on the operating plan provided by HHS to
Congress, with further information from HHS that funds were subsequently transferred from shelters,
victim services, and program support ($482,298) and the national domestic violence hotline ($26,521) under
the 1% transfer authority for the HHS Secretary in P.L. 115-31. CRS correspondence with HHS, ACF, April
2016 and August 2017; and HHS, “FY2017 ACF Operating Plan” and “FY2017 CDC Operating Plan.”
e. The final appropriations law for HHS was the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 ( P.L. 115-141). The
FY2018 funding levels provided are based on the operating plan provided by HHS to Congress, with further
information from HHS that funds were subsequently transferred from shelters, victim services, and program
support ($1,600,000) under the 1% transfer authority for the HHS Secretary in P.L. 115-141 and $1,889 in
lapsed appropriations. CRS correspondence with HHS, ACF, November 2018; and HHS, “FY2018 ACF
Operating Plan” and “FY2018 CDC Operating Plan.”
f.
The final appropriations law for HHS was the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019 (P.L. 115-245). The
FY2019 funding levels for shelters, victim services, and program support are based on CRS correspondence
with HHS, ACF in September 2020, with further information from HHS that funds were subsequently
transferred from shelters, victim services, and program support ($565,880) under the 1% transfer authority
for the HHS Secretary in P.L. 115-141. FY2019 hotline funding includes $400,000 that was used to fund an
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Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

evaluation of hotline services conducted elsewhere within ACF. FY2019 funding for DELTA is based on
HHS, “FY2019 CDC Operating Plan” and CRS correspondence with HHS, CDC in September 2020.
g. Regular FY2020 appropriations were provided under the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020
(P.L. 116-94), and supplemental appropriations were provided under the Coronavirus Preparedness and
Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-123). Funding levels for shelter, victim services,
and program support and the hotline are based on CRS correspondence with HHS, ACF in November
2020. FY2020 funding level for shelter, victim services, and program support includes $45 mil ion provided
by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. The hotline total includes
$250,000 that was used to fund an evaluation of hotline services conducted elsewhere within ACF, and a
supplemental appropriation of $2 mil ion provided by the CARES Act. FY2020 funding levels for DELTA are
based on HHS, “FY2020 CDC Operating Plan” and CRS correspondence with HHS, CDC in September
2020. The DELTA total includes $1.6 mil ion that CDC used from more general funding provided by the
CARES Act.
Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and
Leadership Through Alliances (DELTA)43
Since 1994, FVPSA has authorized the HHS Secretary to award cooperative agreements to state
domestic violence coalitions that coordinate local community projects to prevent domestic
violence, including such violence involving youth. Congress first awarded funding for prevention
activities in FY1996 under a pilot program carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. The pilot program was formalized in 2002 under a program now known as the
Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Al iances (DELTA)
program. The focus of DELTA is preventing domestic violence before it occurs, rather than
responding once it happens or working to prevent its recurrence.44 The program has had four
iterations:
 DELTA, which was funded from FY1996 through FY2012 and involved 14
states;
 DELTA Prep, which extended from FY2008 through FY2012 and involved 19
states that had not received the initial DELTA funds;
 DELTA FOCUS, which extended from FY2013 through FY2017 and involved 10
states, al of which had previously received funding under DELTA or DELTA
Prep; and
 DELTA Impact, which began with FY2018 and involves 10 states, al of which
except one has previously received DELTA funding.
As original y implemented, the program provided funding and technical assistance to 14 state
domestic violence coalitions to support local efforts to carry out prevention strategies and work at
the state level to oversee these strategies. Local prevention efforts were referred to as coordinated
community responses (CCRs). The CCRs were led by domestic violence organizations and other
stakeholders across multiple sectors, including law enforcement, public health, and faith-based
organizations. For example, the Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
supported two CCRs—the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services and the
Lakeshore Al iance Against Domestic and Sexual Violence—that focused on faith-based
initiatives. Both CCRs held forums that provided resources and information about the roles of
faith leaders in preventing the first-time occurrence of domestic violence. The 14 state domestic

43 42 U.S.C. §10414 (Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership T hrough Alliances (DELT A)).
44 T he CDC defines primary prevention as “stopping IPV [intimate partner violence] before it occurs.” HHS, CDC,
“Violence Prevention: DELT A Focus,” http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/deltafocus/.
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violence coalitions developed five- to eight-year domestic violence prevention plans known as
Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Plans. These plans were developed with multiple
stakeholders, and they discuss the strategies needed to prevent first-time perpetration or
victimization and to build the capacity to implement these strategies. The CDC issued a brief that
summarizes the plans and identifies the successes and chal enges for state domestic violence
coalitions in supporting and enhancing intimate partner violence prevention efforts. Overal , the
report found that states improved their capacity to respond to intimate partner violence through
evidence-based planning and implementation strategies.45
DELTA Prep
DELTA Prep was a project that extended from FY2008 through FY2012, and was a collaborative
effort among the CDC, the CDC Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.46
Through DELTA Prep, the CDC extended the DELTA program to 19 states47 that did not receive
the initial DELTA funds. State and community leaders in these other states received training and
assistance in building prevention strategies, based on the work of the 14 state domestic violence
coalitions that received DELTA funds. DELTA Prep states integrated primary prevention
strategies into their work and the work of their partners, and built leadership for domestic
violence prevention in their states.
DELTA FOCUS
DELTA FOCUS (Focusing on Outcomes for Communities United within States) continued earlier
DELTA work. From FY2013 through FY2017, DELTA FOCUS funded 10 state domestic
violence coalition grantees to implement and evaluate strategies to prevent domestic violence.
Funding was provided by the coalitions to 18 community response teams that engaged in carrying
out these strategies.48 DELTA FOCUS differed from DELTA and DELTA Prep by placing greater
emphasis on implementing prevention strategies rather than building capacity for prevention.
DELTA FOCUS also put more emphasis on evaluating the program to help build evidence about
effective interventions.
DELTA Impact
DELTA Impact, which began in FY2018, provides funding to 10 state domestic violence
coalitions.49 This grant supports community response teams in decreasing domestic violence risk

45 HHS, CDC, Taking Action to Prevent Intimate Partner Violence: Creating Statewide Prevention Plans, 2013. For
further information about DELT A evaluation activities from 2003 through 2010, see Pamela J. Fox et al.,
“Strengthening Systems for the Primary Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence: CDC’s DELT A
and EMPOWER Programs,” Journal of Family Social Work, vol. 13, no. 4, 2013.
46 T he CDC Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by Congress that creates programs in partnership with
the CDC for fighting threats to health. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a philanthropic organization that
focuses on public health issues.
47 T hese states include AL, CT , DC, ID, IA, IN, KY, MA, MN, MI, NE, NH, NJ, OK, OR, PA, SC, T X, and WA.
48 T hese states include AK, CA, DE, FL, ID, IN, MI, NC, OH, and RI. For further information, see HHS, CDC,
“Funding Opportunity, DELT A (Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement Leadership T hrough Alliances, Focusing
on Outcomes for Communities United with States) FOCUS”; and HHS, CDC, “ T he DELT A Focus Program: Intimate
Partner Violence is Preventable,” https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/deltafocus/.
49 T hese states include AK, CA, DE, FL, MI, NC, OH, PA, RI, and T N. For further information, see HHS, CDC,
“Funding Opportunity, DELT A (Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement Leadership T hrough Alliances, Focusing
on Outcomes for Communit ies United with States) Impact”; and HHS, CDC, “ About DELT A Impact,”
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Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

factors and increasing protective factors by implementing prevention activities that are based on
the best available evidence. Grantees are implementing and evaluating policy efforts under three
broad strategies to address domestic violence prevention: (1) engaging influential adults and
peers, including by engaging men and boys as al ies in prevention; (2) creating protective
environments, such as improving school climates and safety; and (3) strengthening economic
supports for families.
National Domestic Violence Hotline50
As amended by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994, FVPSA directs the HHS
Secretary to award a grant to one or more private entities to operate a 24-hour, national, toll-free
hotline for domestic violence (hereinafter, “hotline”). Since 1995, HHS has entered into a
cooperative agreement with a nonprofit organization to operate the National Domestic Violence
Hotline, with funding that has been competitively awarded. The hotline is currently administered
by an organization in Texas of the same name.51 The agreement was most recently awarded for a
five-year period that extends from the end of FY2020 through the end of FY2025.52
FVPSA requires that the hotline provide information and assistance to adult and youth victims of
domestic violence, family and household members of victims of such violence, and “persons
affected by victimization.” This includes support related to domestic violence, children exposed
to domestic violence, sexual assault, intervention programs for abusive partners, and related
issues. As required under FVPSA, the hotline carries out multiple activities:
 It employs, trains, and supervises personnel to answer incoming cal s; provides
counseling and referral services; and directly connects cal ers to service
providers. In FY2018, the hotline received about 23,000 cal s each month and
responded to 74% of al cal s (which was below its FY2018 target of 82%). It
also had an average of nearly 13,000 online chats on a monthly basis and
responded to 59% of chats (which was below the 82% target). HHS reported that
some cal s were missed due to increased volume related to media coverage of
domestic violence, increased Spanish chat services, and forwarding of cal s from
local domestic violence hotlines due to severe weather.53
 It maintains a database of domestic violence services for victims throughout the
United States, including information on the availability of shelter and services.
 It provides assistance to meet the needs of special populations, including
underserved populations, individuals with disabilities, and youth victims of
domestic violence and dating violence. The hotline provides access to personnel
for cal ers with limited English proficiency and persons who are deaf and hard of
hearing.

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/delta/impact/index.html.
50 42 U.S.C §10413 (National Domestic Violence Hotline Grant).
51 For further information, see National Domestic Violence Hotline, “History,” https://www.thehotline.org/about/
history/.
52 HHS, ACF, FYSB, “$20.59 Million Awarded to Support Victims of Domestic Violence and their Children, ” press
release, https://www.acf.hhs.gov/media/press/2020/millions-awarded-to-support -victims-of-domestic-violence-and-
their-children.
53 HHS, Administration for Children and Families FY2021 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees,
pp. 199-202 (hereinafter, “ HHS, ACF FY2021 Justification of Estim ates”).
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Since 2007, the hotline has operated a separate helpline for youth victims of domestic violence,
the National Dating Abuse Helpline (known as loveisrespect.org), which is funded through the
appropriation for the hotline. This helpline offers real-time support primarily from peer advocates
trained to provide support, information, and advocacy to those involved in abusive dating
relationships, as wel as others who support victims.54 In FY2018, the helpline received a monthly
average of about 2,400 cal s; 3,800 online chats; and nearly 1,300 texts.55
In addition, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has collaborated with the National
Indigenous Women’s Resource Center to develop and fund the StrongHearts Native Helpline for
Native American survivors of domestic abuse.56 The helpline uses the technology and
infrastructure of the hotline, and draws from the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
to provide Native-centered, cultural y appropriate services for survivors and others.
National Domestic Violence Hotline Study
A 2018 study of the national and youth hotlines examined a number of their features, including
who contacts the lines, the needs and demographic characteristics of those individuals, how they
reach the lines, and the type of support they receive. The study found that nearly half (48%) of
those who cal ed the hotline were victims/survivors and another 39% did not identify themselves.
The remainder were family/friends, abusers, and service providers. According to the study, the
service most commonly provided was emotional support, which recipients reportedly valued
highly.57
Another study, published in 2020, evaluated the short-term outcomes of contacting the hotline.58
Among those who completed a follow-up survey immediately after they made contact, the
majority of hotline users (83% to 98%) reported improvements on al of the outcomes measured,
including knowledge of domestic and/or dating violence, safety planning, and options and
resources, and in their confidence about making decisions, comfort asking for help, and
hopefulness for the future. These self-reported outcomes were higher among domestic violence
victims/survivors as compared to others (e.g., family/friends and service providers) who
contacted the hotline.59

54 National Council on Family Violence, “loveisrespect.org,” http://www.loveisrespect.org/.
55 HHS, ACF FY2021 Justification of Estimates, p. 192.
56 T he National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center is a nonprofit organization that serves as the FVPSA -funded
national Indian Resource Center to assist tribes and tribal organizations in responding to domestic violence. See
StrongHearts Native Helpline, “About StrongHearts,” https://www.strongheartshelpline.org/about/.
57 HHS, ACF, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), An Evaluation of the National Domestic Violence
Hotline and loveisrespect Report from the Accom plishm ents of the Dom estic Violence Hotline, Online Connections,
and Text Project
, OPRE Report #2018-117, December 2018.
58 HHS, ACF, OPRE, Short-Term Outcomes for Users of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect.
OPRE Report #2020-55, April 2020. Because of safety and confidentiality concerns, the survey was only given to users
who did not need an immediate referral. T he study also included outcomes from a two -week follow-up survey;
however, the response rates for this survey were low and not generalizable to the broader population of hotline users.
Also see George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health, Short-Term Outcom es After
Contacting The National Dom estic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect: Com paring Survivors to Other Contactors
, for
HHS, ACF, FYSB and OPRE, OPRE Report # 2020-119, p. 12, September 2, 2020.
59 Ibid, p. 59.
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Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

Overview of Shelters, Services, and Support
Funding for domestic violence shelters, victim services, and program support (hereinafter,
“shelter and services”) encompasses multiple activities: formula grants to states and territories;
grants to tribes; state domestic violence coalitions; national and special issue resource centers,
including those that provide technical assistance; specialized services for abused parents and their
children exposed to domestic violence; and program support and administration. Figure 2 shows
FY2020 al ocations for activities included as part of shelter and services.
Figure 2. Allocations for Activities Funded under Domestic Violence Shelters, Victim
Services, and Program Support, FY2020
(Total: $219,985,157)

Source: Actual funding levels for FY2020, as obtained through CRS correspondence with the U.S. Department
of Health Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), September 2020. Domestic
violence shelters, victim services, and program support received $175 mil ion by the Further Consolidated
Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-94) and $45 mil ion provided by the CARES Act (P.L. 116-136).

The following sections of the report provide further information about grants to states, territories,
and tribes; and state domestic violence coalitions. In addition, the report provides information
about national and special issue resource centers. The section of the report on services for
children and youth exposed to domestic violence includes information about FY2020 and earlier
support for specialized services for abused parents and children.
Formula Grants to States, Territories, and Tribes
No less than 70% of FVPSA appropriations for shelter and services must be awarded to states and
territories through a formula grant. The formula grant supports the establishment, maintenance,
and expansion of programs and projects to prevent incidents of domestic violence and to provide
shelter and supportive services to victims of domestic violence. Each of the territories—Guam,
American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands—
receives no less than one-eighth of 1% of the appropriation, or, in combination, about one-half of
1% of the total amount appropriated. Of the remaining funds, states (including the District of
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Columbia and Puerto Rico) receive a base al otment of $600,000 and additional funding based on
their relative share of the U.S. population.60 Appendix C provides formula funding for FY2019
and FY2020 by state and territory.
In addition, no less than 10% of FVPSA appropriations for shelter and services are awarded to
Indian tribes. Indian tribes have the option to authorize a tribal organization or a nonprofit private
organization to submit an application for and to administer FVPSA funds.
In applying for grant funding, states and territories (hereinafter, “states”) must make certain
assurances pertaining to the use and distribution of funds and to victims. Nearly al of the same
requirements that pertain to states and territories also pertain to tribes.
In FY2018, programs funded by grants for states and tribes supported over 252,000 clients in
residential settings (see Figure 3) and more than 1.0 mil ion clients in nonresidential settings.
According to HHS, the majority (93.4%) of clients reported improved knowledge of safety
planning, a metric that HHS points to as being associated with other positive long-term outcomes.
However, programs were not able to meet 255,300 requests for shelter because programs were at
capacity (see Figure 3) (these requests can include multiple requests made by a single
individual).61 Relatedly, a 2019 census count of domestic violence programs and shelters by the
National Network to End Domestic Violence’s (NNEDV) found that on the date of the survey,
victims made 11,336 requests for services. This included 7,732 requests for shelter, which “could
not be provided because programs lacked the resources to meet victims’ needs.”62

60 42 U.S.C. §10405 (Allotment of funds). T he FVPSA law defines a “state” to include each of the 50 states, the
District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and except as otherwise provided, Guam, America Samoa,
the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. 42 U.S.C. §10410(10) (Definitions).
61 HHS, ACF FY2021 Justification of Estimates, p. 207. See also, HHS, ACF, FVPSA Report to Congress 2013-2014,
pp. 17-21. T his is the most recent report available.
62 National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), 14th Annual Domestic Violence Counts Census Report,
March 2020, pp. 1, 8. NNEDV is a membership and advocacy organization, and its census count is not associated with
FVPSA.
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Figure 3. Residential Clients and Unmet Requests for Shelter at FVPSA-Funded
Shelters, FY2014-FY2018

Source: Created by CRS using data from HHS, Administration for Children and Families Justification of Estimates,
FY2018-FY2021. The number of clients includes individuals who received shelter within the fiscal year. The
number of unmet requests refers to requests that were made for shelter but could not be provided because
programs were at capacity. One person could submit multiple requests.
Selected Grant Conditions Pertaining to Use and Distribution of Funds63
States may use up to 5% of their grant funding for state administrative costs. The remainder of the
funds are used to make subgrants to eligible entities for community-based projects (hereinafter,
“subgrantees”) that meet the goals of the grant program. No less than 70% of subgrant funding is
to be used to provide temporary shelter and related supportive services, which include the
physical space in which victims reside as wel as the expenses of running shelter facilities.64 No
less than 25% of subgrant funding is to be used for the following supportive services and
prevention services:65
 assisting in the development of safety plans, and supporting efforts of victims to
make decisions about their ongoing safety and wel -being;
 providing individual and group counseling, peer support groups, and referrals to
community-based services to assist victims and their dependents in recovering
from the effects of domestic violence;
 providing services, training, technical assistance, and outreach to increase
awareness of domestic violence and increase the accessibility of these services;
 providing cultural y and linguistical y appropriate services;
 providing services for children exposed to domestic violence, including age-
appropriate counseling, supportive services, and services for the nonabusing

63 42 U.S.C. §10407 (St ate application).
64 42 U.S.C. §10408(b) (Subgrants and uses of funds).
65 For example, of the 70% set -aside for shelter and related supportive services, all of it could be used for shelter;
however, an additional 25% must be used for supportive services.
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parent that support that parent’s role as caregiver (which may include services
that work with the nonabusing parent and child together);
 providing advocacy, case management services, and information and referral
services concerning issues related to domestic violence intervention and
prevention, including providing assistance in accessing federal and state financial
assistance programs; legal advocacy; medical advocacy, including provision of
referrals for appropriate health care services (but not reimbursement for any
health care services); assistance in locating and securing safe and affordable
permanent housing and homelessness prevention services; and transportation,
child care, respite care, job training and employment services, financial literacy
services and education, financial planning, and related economic empowerment
services;
 providing parenting and other educational services for victims and their
dependents; and
 providing prevention services, including outreach to underserved populations.
Subgrantees that receive funding must provide a nonfederal match—of not less than $1 for every
$5 of federal funding—directly from the state or through donations from public or private
entities.66 The matching funds can be in cash or in kind. Further, federal funds made available to a
state must supplement, and not supplant, other federal, state, and local public funds expended on
services for victims of domestic violence.
What are eligible entities that can receive subgrant funding from states?
A local public agency, or nonprofit private organization—including faith-based and charitable organizations,
community-based organizations, tribal organizations, and voluntary associations—that assists victims of domestic
violence and their dependents and has a documented history of effective work on this type of violence; or a
partnership of two or more agencies or organizations that includes an agency or organization described above and
an agency or organization that has a demonstrated history of serving populations in their communities, including
providing cultural y appropriate services.
Source: 42 U.S.C. §10408(c).

States must also provide assurances that they wil consult with and facilitate the participation of
state domestic violence coalitions in planning and monitoring the distribution of grants and
administering the grants (the role of state domestic violence coalitions is subsequently discussed
further).67 States must describe how they wil involve community-based organizations, whose
primary purpose is to provide cultural y appropriate services to underserved populations,
including how such organizations can assist states in meeting the needs of these populations.
States must further provide assurances that they have laws or procedures in place to bar an abuser
from a shared household or a household of the abused persons, which may include eviction laws
or procedures, where appropriate. Such laws or procedures are general y enforced by civil
protection orders, or restraining orders to limit the perpetrators’ physical proximity to the victim.

66 42 U.S.C. §10406(c) (Formula grants to states-grant conditions).
67 T ribes do not necessarily have domestic violence coalitions and therefore related provisions do no t apply; however,
state domestic violence coalitions must collaborate with Indian tribes an d tribal organizations (and corresponding
Native Hawaiian groups or communities) to address the needs of Indian (including Alaska Native) and Native
Hawaiian victims of domestic violence. 42 U.S.C. §10411(d)(8). T he Violence Against Women Act of 1994 autho rizes
funding for tribal domestic violence coalitions under T ribal Coalition Grants (34 U.S.C. §10441(d)). T he program is
funded by statutory set -asides from the VAWA-authorized ST OP program and Sexual Assault Services program.
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In funding subgrantees, states must “give special emphasis” to supporting community-based
projects of “demonstrated effectiveness” carried out by nonprofit organizations that operate
shelters for victims of domestic violence and their dependents; or that provide counseling,
advocacy, and self-help services to victims. States have discretion in how they al ocate their
funding, so long as they provide assurances that grant funding wil be distributed equitably within
the state and between urban and rural areas of the state.
States have two years to spend funds. For example, funds al otted for FY2020 may be spent in
FY2020 or FY2021. The HHS Secretary is authorized to real ocate the funds of a state, by the end
of the sixth month of a fiscal year that funds are appropriated, if the state fails to meet the
requirements of the grant. The Secretary must notify the state if its application for funds has not
met these requirements. State domestic violence coalitions are permitted to help determine
whether states are in compliance with these provisions. States are al owed six months to correct
any deficiencies in their application.
Selected Grant Conditions Pertaining to Victims68
The grant for states addresses the individual characteristics and privacy of participants and
shelters. Both states and subgrantees funded under FVPSA may not deny individuals from
participating in support programs on the basis of disability, sex, race, color, national origin, or
religion (this also applies to FVPSA-funded activities general y). In addition, states and
subgrantees may not impose income eligibility requirements on individuals partic ipating in these
programs. Further, states and subgrantees must protect the confidentiality and privacy of victims
and their families to help ensure their safety. These entities are prohibited from disclosing any
personal y identifying information collected about services requested, and from revealing
personal y identifying information without the consent of the individual, as specified in the law. If
disclosing the identity of the individual is compel ed by statutory or court mandate, states and
subgrantees must make reasonable attempts to notify victims, and they must take steps to protect
the privacy and safety of the individual.
States and subgrantees may share information that has been aggregated and does not identify
individuals, and information that has been generated by law enforcement and/or prosecutors and
courts pertaining to protective orders or law enforcement and prosecutorial purposes. In addition,
the location of confidential shelters may not be made public, except with written authorization of
the person(s) operating the shelter. Subgrantees may not provide direct payment to any victim of
domestic violence or the dependent(s) of the victim. Further, victims must be provided shelter and
services on a voluntary basis. In other words, providers cannot compel or force individuals to
come to a shelter, participate in counseling, etc.
State Domestic Violence Coalitions69
Since 1992, FVPSA has authorized funding for state domestic violence coalitions (SDVCs). A
SDVC is defined under the act as a statewide nongovernmental, nonprofit private domestic
violence organization that (1) has a membership that includes a majority of the primary-purpose
domestic violence service providers in the state;70 (2) has board membership that is representative
of domestic violence service providers, and that may include representatives of the communities

68 42 U.S.C. §10406(c) (Formula grants to states-grant conditions) and 42 §10408(d) (Subgrants and use of funds-
conditions).
69 42 U.S.C. §10411 (Grants to State Domestic Violence Coalitions).
70 SDVCs may include representatives of Indian tribes and tribal organizations. See §42 U.S.C. 10411(h) (Indian
representatives).
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in which the services are being provided; (3) has as its purpose to provide education, support, and
technical assistance to such service providers so they can maintain shelter and supportive services
for victims of domestic violence and their dependents; and (4) serves as an information
clearinghouse and resource center on domestic violence for the state and supports the
development of policies, protocols, and procedures to enhance domestic violence intervention and
prevention in the state.71
Funding for SDVCs is available for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico,
and four territories (American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,
and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each jurisdiction has one SDVC, and these coalitions are designated
by HHS.72 Funding is divided evenly among these 56 jurisdictions. SDVCs must use FVPSA
funding for specific activities, as follows:
 working with local domestic violence service programs and providers of direct
services to encourage appropriate and comprehensive responses to domestic
violence against adults or youth within the state, including providing training and
technical assistance to subgrantees and conducting needs assessments;
 participating in planning and monitoring the distribution of subgrants and
subgrant funds within the state under the grant program for states and territories;
 working in collaboration with service providers and community-based
organizations to address the needs of domestic violence victims and their
dependents who are non-White or include underserved populations;
 collaborating with and providing information to entities in such fields as housing,
health care, mental health, social welfare, or business to support the development
and implementation of effective policies, protocols, and programs that address
the safety and support needs of adult and youth victims of domestic violence;
 encouraging appropriate responses to cases of domestic violence against adult
and youth victims, including by working with judicial and law enforcement
agencies;
 working with family law judges, criminal court judges, child protective service
agencies, and children’s advocates to develop appropriate responses to child
custody and visitation issues in cases of children exposed to domestic violence,
and in cases where this violence is concurrent with child abuse;
 providing information to the public about prevention of domestic violence and
dating violence, including information targeted to underserved populations; and
 collaborating with Indian tribes and tribal organizations (and Native Hawai an
groups or communities) to address the needs of Indian (including Alaska Native)
and Native Hawai an victims of domestic dating violence, as applicable in the
state.73

71 42 U.S.C. §10402(11) (Definitions).
72 For a list of state domestic violence coalitions, see National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), “State &
U.S. T erritory Coalitions,” nnedv.org/content/state-u-s-territory-coalitions.
73 A SDVC is not required to use funds for two purpose areas (i.e., encouraging appropriate responses to cases of
domestic violence against adult and youth victims; and working with family law judges, crimin al court judges, child
protective service agencies, and children’s advocates) if it receives funding to carry out these activities authorized
under the Violence Against Women Act. T hese activities include grants to help states; Indian tribal governments; state,
local, and tribal courts; state domestic violence coalitions; and local governments develop and strengthen effective law
enforcement and prosecution strategies to combat violent crimes against women and develop and strengthen victim
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Resource Centers
As original y enacted, FVPSA authorized a national information and research clearinghouse on
the prevention of domestic violence. As part of the act’s reauthorization in 1992, the language
about the clearinghouse was struck and replaced with authorization for resource centers on
domestic violence, including special issue resource centers to address key areas of domestic
violence. Reauthorization of FVPSA in 2010 added authorization for a national resource center on
American Indian women and three cultural y specific resources, which had previously been
funded through discretionary funds.74 The 2010 law also authorized special issue resource centers
that provide training and technical assistance on domestic violence intervention and prevention
topics and state resource centers to address disparities in domestic violence in states with high
proportions of Indian (including Alaska Native) or Native Hawai an populations.75
In total, HHS administers grants for 14 resource centers that are funded by the FVPSA
appropriation for domestic violence shelters, victim services, and program support.76 The purpose
of these resource centers is to provide information, training, and technical assistance on domestic
violence issues. This assistance is provided by nonprofit organizations and other entities to
multiple stakeholders—individuals, organizations, governmental entities, and communities—so
that they can improve their capacity for preventing and responding to domestic violence.
Demonstration Projects
Using unal ocated funds, HHS launched a demonstration project “to enhance supportive housing”
for domestic violence survivors in FY2019 and FY2020.77 HHS provided $500,000 in each year
to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) (selected through a competitive
process78) for a five-year housing project cal ed the National Capacity Building Center on Safe
and Supportive Housing for Domestic Violence Survivors
.79 The project aims to improve the
capacity of domestic violence, housing, and homeless service providers to support clients’
housing needs through training and technical assistance. It also seeks to conduct and disseminate
research on approaches to housing-related issues for survivors.80

services. See 34 U.S.C. §10441 et seq.
74 T his is based on CRS correspondence with HHS, ACF, September 2012.
75 42 U.S.C §10410(b)(1)(A) authorizes the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence; 42 U.S.C
§10410(b)(1)(B) authorizes the National Resource Center Addressin g Domestic Violence and Safety for Indian
Women; 42 U.S.C §10410(b)(2) authorizes the special issue resource centers; and 42 U.S.C §10410(b)(3) authorizes
state centers to reduce tribal disparities (Indian, including Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians).
76 HHS, ACF, FYSB, “Resource Centers,” https://www.acf.hhs.gov/fysb/programs/family-violence-prevention-
services/programs/centers.
77 HHS, ACF FY2021 Justification of Estimates, pp. 205-206.
78 HHS, ACF, “Funding Opportunity Announcement: Family Violence Prevention and Services Discretionary Grants:
National Capacity Building Center on Safe and Supportive Housing for Domestic Violence Survivors, ” HHS-2016-
ACF-ACYF-EV-1160, 2016, https://ami.grantsolutions.gov/files/HHS-2016-ACF-ACYF-EV-1160_0.pdf.
79 T his is based on CRS correspondence with HHS, ACF, September 2020.
80 Safe Housing Partnerships, “About the Consortium,” https://safehousingpartnerships.org/about/.
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Teen Dating Violence
Background
Teenagers may be exposed to violence in their dating relationships. The CDC reports that on an
annual basis, 1 in 11 female teens and 1 in 15 male teens experienced physical dating violence
involving a person who hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or using another type of
physical force. Further, over 1 in 9 female teens and nearly 1 in 36 male teens reported
experiencing sexual dating violence within a recent one-year period, which includes forcing or
attempting to force a partner to take part in a sexual act, sexual touching, or a nonphysical sexual
event (e.g., sexting) when the partner does not or cannot consent.81
The FVPSA statute references dating violence throughout and uses the definition of “dating
violence” that is in VAWA. The term is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has
been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, and where the
existence of the relationship is determined based on the length, type, and frequency of interaction
between the persons in it.82
Domestic violence shelters and supportive services funded by FVPSA are often geared towards
adult victims and their children if they accompany the adult into shelter. The FVPSA statute does
not explicitly authorize supports for youth victims of dating violence who are unaccompanied by
their parents; however, the law does not limit eligibility for shelter and services based on age.
Access to domestic violence shelters and supports for teen victims, including protective orders
against abusers, varies by state.83 The primary source of support for teen victims under FVPSA is
provided via the national domestic violence hotline. The hotline includes the loveisrespect
helpline and related online resources. Youth victims can cal , chat, or text with peer advocates for
support. The loveisrespect website includes a variety of materials that address signs of abuse and
resources for getting help.84
Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
Background
FVPSA statute and regulations reference children exposed to domestic violence, but does not
define related terminology. According to the research literature, this exposure can include
children who see and/or hear violent acts, are present for the aftermath (e.g., seeing bruises on a
mother’s body, moving to a shelter), or live in a house where domestic violence occurs, regardless
of whether they see and/or hear the violence. A frequently cited estimate is that between 10% and
20% of children (approximately 7 mil ion to 10 mil ion children) are exposed to adult domestic
violence each year.85 The literature about the impact of domestic violence is evolving. The effects

81 HHS, CDC, “Preventing T een Dating Violence,” 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/
intimatepartnerviolence/teendatingviolence/fastfact.html.
82 34 U.S.C. §12291(a)(10).
83 Break the Cycle, 2010 State Law Report Cards: A National Survey of Teen Dating Violence Laws, 2010.
84 National Council on Family Violence, “Love is Respect,” http://www.loveisrespect.org/.
85 Jeffrey J. Edleson, Narae Shin, and Katy K. Armedariz Johnson, “Measuring Children’s Exposure to Domestic
Violence: T he Development and T esting of the Child Exposure to Domestic Violence (CEDV) Scale,” Children and
Youth Services Review
, vol. 30, November 6, 2007, pp. 502-521.
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of domestic violence on children can range from little or no effect to severe psychological harm
and physical effects, depending on the type and severity of abuse and protective factors, among
other variables.86
Multiple FVPSA activities address children exposed to domestic and related violence:
 One of the purposes of the formula grant program for states is to provide
specialized services (e.g., counseling, advocacy, and other assistance) for abused
parents and their children.87
 The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence is directed to offer domestic
violence programs and research that include both victims and their children
exposed to domestic violence.
 The national resource center that addresses mental health and trauma issues is
required to address victims of domestic violence and their children who are
exposed to this violence.
 State domestic violence coalitions must, among other activities, work with the
legal system, child protective services, and children’s advocates to develop
appropriate responses to child custody and visitation issues in cases involving
children exposed to domestic violence.
In addition to these provisions, the FVPSA statute authorizes funding for specialized services for
abused parents and their children (discussed subsequently). Other FVPSA activities for children
exposed to domestic violence have also been funded through discretionary funding and funding
leveraged through a fundraising or semipostal stamp.
Specialized Services for Abused Parents and Their
Children/Expanding Services for Children and Youth
Exposed to Domestic Violence88
Since 2003, FVPSA has specified that funding must be set aside for specialized services to
address children exposed to domestic violence if the appropriation for shelter, victim services,
and program support exceeds $130 mil ion.89 Under current law, if funding is triggered, HHS
must first reserve not less than 25% of funding above $130 mil ion to make grants to a local
agency, nonprofit organization, or tribal organization with a demonstrated record of serving
victims of domestic violence and their children. These funds are intended to expand the capacity
of service programs and community-based programs to prevent future domestic violence by

86 Alice Summers, Children’s Exposure to Domestic Violence: A Guide to Research and Resources, National Council
of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and DOJ, OJP , Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2006, pp.
5-6.
87 In a 2019 one-day census count of domestic violence shelter and service providers, 56% reported providing support
and advocacy for children on that day and 81% reported providing this support and advocacy throughout the year.
National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), Dom estic Violence Counts 2019. Not all of these providers
receive funding under the formula grant program.
88 42 U.S.C. §10406 (Formula Grants to States).
89 T his was enacted as a provision under the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-36). T he 2010
reauthorization of FVPSA (P.L. 111-320) created a new section at 42 U.S.C. §10412 (Specialized Services for Abused
Parents and T heir Children), which has the same purpose as the original provision.
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addressing the needs of children exposed to domestic violence. Funding has exceeded $130
mil ion in FY2010 and FY2014 through FY2019.
In FY2010, funding for shelter and services was just over $130 mil ion. HHS reserved the excess
funding as wel as FVPSA discretionary funding (under shelter, victim services, and program
support) to fund specialized services for abused parents and their children through an initiative
known as Expanding Services for Children and Youth Exposed to Domestic Violence. HHS also
used discretionary money to fund the initiative in FY2011 and FY2012. Total funding for the
initiative was $2.5 mil ion. This funding was awarded to five grantees—four state domestic
violence coalitions and one national technical assistance provider—to expand supports to
children, youth, and parents exposed to domestic violence and build strategies for serving this
population.90 For example, the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the
state domestic violence coalition for Alaska, used the funding to improve coordination between
domestic violence agencies and the child welfare system. Their work involved developing an
integrated training curriculum and policies, and creation of a multidisciplinary team of child
welfare and domestic violence stakeholders in four communities.
Funding again exceeded $130 mil ion in each of FY2014 through FY2020, thereby triggering the
set-aside. In FY2014 and FY2015, HHS directed the extra funding for domestic violence shelters,
victim services, and program support.91 For FY2016 through FY2020, HHS provided funding for
specialized services for abused parents and their children. From FY2016 through FY2019,
approximately $5.0 mil ion to $6.5 mil ion was al ocated to 12 grantees to provide direct services
under the grant, Specialized Services for Abused Parents and their Children (SSPAC).92 In
FY2020, HHS awarded $7.8 mil ion to a second cohort of 26 SSPAC grantees to carry out
projects through FY2022.93 Grantees include domestic violence coalitions and other entities. They
are working to al eviate trauma experienced by children who are exposed to domestic violence,
support enhanced relationships between these children and their parents, and improve systemic
responses to such families. A separate grant—known as Expanding Services to Children, Youth,
and Abused Parents (ESCYAP)—has been awarded annual y to the nonprofit organization
Futures Without Violence to provide training and technical assistance to the grantees and facilitate
coordination among them through what is known as the Promising Futures Capacity Building
Center.94 In FY2020, the grant amount was nearly $1.7 mil ion.95

90 T he grantees were New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women, Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence,
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence,
and Family Violence Prevention Fund.
91 T he FY2016 budget request noted that “In previous budgets [FY2014 through FY2015] this provision was
overridden in order to direct resources to shelters.” HHS, FY2016 Adm inistration for Children and Fam ilies
Justification of Estim ates for Appropriations Com m ittees
, p. 212.
92 T his is based on CRS correspondence with HHS, ACF in November 2020 and HHS, ACF, FYSB, “ 2016 – 2020
Family Violence Prevention and Services Discretionary Grant Specialized Services to Abused Parents and T heir
Children (SSAPC) and Expanding Services to Children, Youth, and Abused Parents (ESCYAP) Grantee Profiles,”
https://www.acf.hhs.gov/fysb/resource/ssapc-escyap-grantees-2016.
93 T his is based on CRS correspondence with HHS, ACF in November 2020 and HHS, ACF, FYSB, “$20.59 Million
Awarded to Support Victims of Domestic Violence and their Children,” press release, https://www.acf.hhs.gov/media/
press/2020/millions-awarded-to-support -victims-of-domestic-violence-and-their-children.
94 Futures Without Violence, “Promising Futures: Best Practices for Serving Children, Youth, and Parents
Experiencing Domestic Violence,” https://promising.futureswithoutviolence.org.
95 T his is based on CRS correspondence with HHS, ACF in November 2020.
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FVPSA Interaction with Other Federal Laws
In addition to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), FVPSA has been
reauthorized by VAWA and shares some of that law’s purposes. In addition, FVPSA interacts with
the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) because some FVPSA-funded programs receive VOCA
funding to provide legal and other assistance to victims.96 Further, FVPSA includes provisions
that encourage or require HHS to coordinate FVPSA programs with related programs and
research carried out by other federal agencies.
Child Abuse and Neglect
FVPSA does not focus on child abuse per se; however, in enacting FVPSA as part of the 1984
amendments to CAPTA, some Members of Congress and other stakeholders noted that child
abuse and neglect and intimate partner violence are not isolated problems, and can arise
simultaneously.97 The research literature has focused on this association. In a national study of
children in families who come into contact with a public child welfare agency through an
investigation of child abuse and neglect, investigative caseworkers identified 28% of the
children’s households as having a history of domestic violence against the caregiver and 12% of
those caregivers as being in active domestic violence situations. Further, about 1 out of 10 of the
child cases of maltreatment reported included domestic violence.98
CAPTA provides funding to states to improve their child protective services (CPS) systems. It
requires states, as a condition of receiving certain CAPTA funds, to describe their policies to
enhance and promote collaboration between child protective service and domestic violence
agencies, among other social service providers.99 Other federal efforts also address the association
between domestic violence and child abuse. For example, the Maternal, Infant, and Early
Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program supports efforts to improve the outcomes of
young children living in communities with concentrations of domestic violence or child
maltreatment, among other factors. The program provides grants to states, territories, and tribes
for the support of evidence-based early childhood home visiting programs that provide in-home
visits by health or social service professionals with at-risk families.100

96 T he majority of nonresidential domestic violence programs participating in a 2011 survey reported that they received
FVPSA funding (65%) and other federal funding under the Victims of Crime Act (73%) or the Violence Against
Women Act (76%). FVPSA funding made up 18% of the programs’ budget; VOCA funding made up 21% of the
programs’ budget; and VAWA funding made up 15% of the programs’ budget. Eleanor Lynn, Jill Bradshaw, and Anne
Menard, Meeting Survivors’ Needs Through Non-Residential Dom estic Violence Services & Supports: Results of a
Multi-State Study
, University of Connecticut, School of Social Work and National Resource Center on Domestic
Violence, prepared for DOJ, OJP, NIJ, November 2011.
97 U.S. Congress, House Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, Violence and Abuse in American
Fam ilies
, 98th Cong., 2nd sess., June 14, 1984. See for example, statement of Representative David Marriott.
98 Cecilia Casanueva et al., NSCAW II Baseline Report: Maltreatment, HHS, ACF, Office of Planning, Research and
Evaluation, Final Report, August 2011, pp. 5 -6, 15. T hose percentages include all children without regard to whether
the child was subsequently removed from the home. For children who stayed in the home following the investigation,
the comparable percentages were the same (28% and 12%); for children removed from the home following the
investigation, the comparable numbers were slightly h igher (30% and 16%); however, this percentage difference was
not statistically significant. T he study did not compare the prevalence of domestic violence for families generally.
99 42 U.S.C. §5106a(a)(14) (Development and operation grants).
100 For further information, see CRS Report R43930, Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV)
Program : Background and Funding
.
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Separately, the Family Connection Grants101 program, authorized under Title IV-B of the Social
Security Act, provided funding from FY2009 through FY2014 to public child welfare agencies
and nonprofit private organizations to help children—whether they are in foster care or at risk of
entering foster care—connect (or reconnect) with birth parents or other extended kin. The funds
were used to establish or support certain activities, including family group decisionmaking
meetings that enable families to develop plans that nurture children and protect them from abuse
and neglect, and, when appropriate, to safely facilitate connecting children exposed to domestic
violence to relevant services and reconnecting them with the abused parent.102
In addition, HHS and the Department of Justice supported the Greenbook Initiative in the early
2000s. The Greenbook was developed from the efforts of the National Council of Juvenile and
Family Court Judges,103 which convened family court judges and experts on child maltreatment
and domestic violence. In 1999, this group developed guidelines for child welfare agencies,
domestic violence providers, and dependency courts in responding to domestic violence and child
abuse in a publication that came to be known as the Greenbook. Soon after, HHS and DOJ funded
efforts in six communities to address domestic violence and child maltreatment by implementing
guidelines from the Greenbook.104
Final y, the ongoing, HHS-led Federal Interagency Working Group on Child Abuse and Neglect
includes a Domestic Violence Subcommittee.105 The committee focuses on interagency initiatives
that address children exposed to domestic violence and promoting information exchange and joint
planning among federal agencies.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)106
FVPSA has twice been amended by VAWA. Both FVPSA and VAWA are the primary vehicles for
federal support to prevent and respond to domestic violence, including children and youth who
are exposed to this violence; however, FVPSA has a more singular focus on prevention and
services for victims, while VAWA’s unique contributions are more focused on law enforcement
and legal response to domestic violence.
VAWA was enacted in 1994 after Congress held a series of hearings on the causes and effects of
domestic and other forms of violence against women. Some Members of Congress and others
asserted that communities needed a more comprehensive response to violence against women
general y—not just against intimate partners—and that perpetrators should face harsher
penalties.107 The shortfal s of legal response and the need for a change in attitudes toward

101 For further information on CAPTA and Family Connection Grants, see CRS Report R43458, Child Welfare: An
Overview of Federal Program s and Their Current Funding
.
102 42 U.S.C. §627 (Family connection grants).
103 42 U.S.C. §627. T he National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is the operator of the FVPSA-funded
Child Protection and Custody Resource Center.
104 For further information, see National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, “T he Greenbook Initiative,”
http://www.thegreenbook.info/.
105 HHS, Office on Women’s Health, Overview of Violence Against Women Activities 2010-2011, p. 28; and HHS,
ACF,” Federal Inter-Agency Work Group on Child Abuse & Neglect,” https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/fediawg.
106 For further information, see CRS Report R42499, The Violence Against Women Act: Overview, Legislation, and
Federal Funding
.
107 In their introduction t o the Violence Against Women Act, then-Senator Joseph Biden and Senator Barbara Boxer
highlighted the weak legal response to violence against women by police and prosecutors. Senators Biden and Boxer,
“Violence Against Women,” Remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, June 21, 1994. See also Joseph Biden,
“Violence Against Women: T he Congressional Response,” American Psychologist, vol. 48, no. 10 (October 1993), pp.
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violence against women were reasons cited for the passage of the law. Since VAWA’s enactment,
the federal response to domestic violence has expanded to involve multiple departments and
activities that include investigating and prosecuting crimes, providing additional services to
victims and abusers, and educating the criminal justice system and other stakeholders about
violence against women.
Although VAWA also addresses other forms of violence against women and provides a broader
response to domestic violence, some VAWA programs have a similar purpose to those carried out
under FVPSA. Congress currently funds VAWA grant programs that address the needs of victims
of domestic violence. These programs also provide support to victims of sexual assault, dating
violence, and stalking. For example, like the FVPSA grant program for states, territories, and
tribes, VAWA’s STOP (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) Violence Against Women
Formula Grant program provides services to victims of domestic and dating violence (and sexual
assault and stalking) that include victim advocacy designed to help victims obtain needed
resources or services, crisis intervention, and advocacy in navigating the criminal and/or civil
legal system.108
Of STOP funds appropriated, 30% must be al ocated to victim services. STOP grants also support
activities that are not funded under FVPSA, including for law enforcement, courts, and
prosecution efforts. Another VAWA program, Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for Victims
of Domestic Violence, provides housing (either short-term emergency or transitional) for victims,
with the goal of moving them into permanent housing. Through the grant program to states,
territories, and tribes, FVPSA provides immediate and short-term shelter to victims of domestic
violence and authorizes service providers to assist with locating and securing safe and affordable
permanent housing and homelessness prevention services.
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA)
FVPSA requires that entities receiving funds under the grant programs for states, territories, and
tribes use a certain share of funding for selected activities, including assistance in accessing other
federal and state financial assistance programs.109 One source of federal finance assistance for
victims of domestic violence is the Crime Victims Fund (CVF), authorized under the Victims of
Crime Act (VOCA) and administered by the Department of Justice’s Office of Victims of Crime
(OVC).110 Within the CVF, funds are available for victims of domestic violence through the
Victim Compensation Formula Grants program and Victims Assistance Formula Grants program.
The Victims Compensation Grants may be used to reimburse victims of crime for out-of-pocket
expenses such as medical and mental health counseling expenses, lost wages, funeral and burial
costs, and other costs (except property loss) authorized in a state’s compensation statute. In
FY2018, approximately 90% of claims that listed a specific victimization type were related to
family and domestic violence.111 The Victims Assistance Formula Grants may be used to provide

1059-1061; Barbara Vobejda, “ Battered Women’s Cry Relayed Up From Grass Roots,” Washington Post, July 6, 1994,
p. A1.
108 DOJ, OVW, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About STOP Formula Grants, updated October 2017.
109 42 U.S.C. 10408(b)(G)(1) (Subgrants and uses of funds).
110 Deposits to the CVF come from criminal finds, forfeited appearance bonds, penalties, and special assessments
collected by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, federal courts, and the Federal Bureau of Prisoners. For further information, see
CRS Report R42672, The Crim e Victim s Fund: Federal Support for Victim s of Crim e.
111 Of 51,680 claims that listed a specific victimization type, 46,233 (89.5%) were related to family and domestic
violence. Another 191,601 claims did not list a specific victimization type. DOJ, OVC, “ Victims of Crime Act: Victim
Compensation: Formula Grant Program: FY2018 Data Analysis Report,” p. 4.
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grants to state crime victim assistance programs to administer funds for state and community-
based victim service program operations. The grants support direct services to victims of crime
including information and referral services, crisis counseling, temporary housing, criminal justice
advocacy support, and other assistance needs. In FY2018, approximately 42% of victims served
by these grants were victims of domestic violence.112
Federal Coordination
Both FVPSA, which is administered within HHS, and VAWA, which is largely administered
within DOJ, require federal agencies to coordinate their efforts to respond to domestic violence.
For example, FVPSA authorizes the HHS Secretary to coordinate programs within HHS and to
“seek to coordinate” those programs “with programs administered by other federal agencies, that
involve or affect efforts to prevent family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence or the
provision of assistance for adults and youth victims of family violence, domestic violence, or
dating violence.”113 In addition, FVPSA directs HHS to assign employees to coordinate research
efforts on family and related violence within HHS and research carried out by other federal
agencies.114 Similarly, VAWA requires the Attorney General to consult with stakeholders in
establishing a task force—comprised of representatives from relevant federal agencies—to
coordinate research on domestic violence and to report to Congress on any overlapping or
duplication of efforts on domestic violence issues.115
In 1995, HHS and DOJ convened the first meeting of the National Advisory Council on Violence
Against Women. The purpose of the council was to promote greater awareness of violence against
women and to advise the federal government on domestic violence issues. Since that time, the
two departments have convened subsequent committees to carry out similar work. In 2010, then-
Attorney General Eric Holder rechartered the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against
Women, which had previously been established in 2006 under his predecessor.116 As stated in the
charter, the committee is intended to provide the Attorney General and the HHS Secretary with
policy advice on improving the nation’s response to violence against women and coordinating
stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels in this response, with a focus on identifying and
implementing successful interventions for children and teens who witness and/or are victimized
by intimate partner and sexual violence.
Separately, the director for FVPSA programs and the deputy director of HHS’s Office on
Women’s Health provide leadership to the HHS Steering Committee on Violence Against
Women.117 This committee supports col aborative efforts to address violence against women and
their children, and includes representatives from the CDC and other HHS agencies. The members
of the committee have established links with professional societies in the health and social service
fields to increase attention on women’s health and violence issues. In addition to these

112 DOJ, OVC, “Victims of Crime Act: Victim Assistance: Formula Grant Program: FY2018 Data Analysis Report,” p.
5.
113 42 U.S.C. §10404(a)(5) (Authority of Secretary—authorities).
114 42 U.S.C. §10404(b)(3)(C) (Authority of Secretary—administration).
115 42 U.S.C. §14042(a) (Task Force).
116 U.S. Department of Justice, “National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women, ” https://www.justice.gov/
ovw/national-advisory-committee-violence-against -women, and “ Charge to the National Advisory Committee on
Violence Against Women,” April 2006.
117 HHS, Office on Women’s Health, Overview of Violence Against Women Activities 2010-2011.
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collaborative activities, multiple federal agencies participate in the Federal Interagency
Workgroup on Teen Dating Violence, which was convened in 2006 to share information and
coordinate teen dating violence program, policy, and research activities to combat teen dating
violence from a public health perspective. The workgroup has funded a project to incorporate
adolescents in the process for developing a research agenda to address teen dating violence.118
Final y, the Office of the Vice President (under Joe Biden) coordinated federal efforts to end
violence against women, including by convening Cabinet-level officials to address issues
concerning domestic and other forms of violence against women.119

118 U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, “Setting the T een Dating
Violence Research Agenda,” http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/intimate-partner-violence/teen-dating-violence/research-
agenda.htm.
119 Office of the President, “1 is 2 Many,” https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/1is2manyy; and T he White House, 1
is 2 Many: Twenty Years Fighting Violence Against Wom en and Girls
, September 2014.
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Appendix A. Definitions
Table A-1. Definitions of Domestic Violence and Related Terms in Federal Statute
Term
Definition
Domestic Violence: The Family Violence
Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former
Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA)
spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common,
references the definition under the
by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse,
Violence Against Women Act of 1994
by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family
(VAWA), as amended, at 34 U.S.C.
violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person
§12291(a)(8).
against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s act under the
domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
Family Violence: FVPSA defines this term
Any act or threatened act of violence, including any forceful detention of an
at 42 U.S.C. §10402(4).
individual, that (1) results or threatens to result in physical injury; and (2) is
committed by a person against another individual (including an elderly individual) to
or with whom such person is related by blood, is or was related to by marriage, or
was otherwise legal y related to, or is or was lawful y residing with.
Dating Violence: FVPSA references the
Violence committed by a person who has been in a social relationship of a romantic
definition under VAWA, as amended, at
or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence of such a relationship is
34 U.S.C. §12291(a)(10).
determined based on consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of
relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved.
Elder abuse: FVPSA references this term,
Any action against a person who is 50 years of age or older that constitutes the
but does not point to a specific
wil ful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or cruel
definition. The term is defined under
punishment with resulting physical harm, pain, or mental anguish; or deprivation by a
VAWA, as amended, at 34 U.S.C.
person, including a caregiver, of goods or services with intent to cause physical
§12291(a)(11).
harm, mental anguish, or mental il ness.
Child abuse: FVPSA references this term,
At a minimum, any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker,
but does not point to a specific
which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or
definition. The term is defined under
exploitation, or an act or failure to act that presents an imminent risk of serious
the Child Abuse Prevention and
harm.
Treatment Act (CAPTA), at 42 U.S.C.
§5101 note.
Stalking: FVPSA references this term,
Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a
but does not point to a specific
reasonable person to (1) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (2)
definition. The term is defined under
suffer substantial emotional distress.
VAWA, as amended, at 34 U.S.C.
§12291(a)(30).
Sexual assault: FVPSA references this
Nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by federal, tribal, or state law, including when
term, but does not point to a specific
the victim lacks capacity to consent.
definition. The term is defined under
VAWA, as amended, at 34 U.S.C.
§12291(a)(29).
Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS), based on current law.

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Appendix B. Prevalence and Effects of Domestic
Violence

Table B-1. Lifetime and 12-Month Prevalence of Violence Committed by an
Intimate Partner and Related Impacts
National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2015

Lifetime
Past 12 Months
Weighted
Estimated
Weighted
Estimated

Percentage
Number
Percentage
Number
Women
Any contact sexual violence,
36.4%
43,579,000
5.5%
6,584,000
physical violence, and/or
stalking
Contact sexual violence
18.3%
21,897,000
2.4%
2,932,000
Physical Violencea
30.6%
36,632,000
2.9%
3,455,000
Stalking
10.4%
12,499,000
2.2%
2,591,000
IPV-Related Impact
25.1%
30,025,000
3.0%
3,635,000
Men
Any contact sexual violence,
33.6%
37,342,000
5.2%
5,786,000
physical violence, and/or
stalking
Contact sexual violence
8.2%
9,082,000
1.6%
1,833,000
Physical Violencea
31.0%
34,436,000
3.8%
4,255,000
Stalking
2.2%
2,485,000
0.8%
918,000
IPV-Related Impact
10.9%
12,118,000
1.9%
2,101,000
Source: Sharon G. Smith et al., The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2015 Data Brief – Updated
Release,
Tables 9 and 11, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), November 2018.
Notes: National estimates were derived based on statistical weights applied to the percentages of respondents
who experience domestic violence. Intimate partners include cohabiting or non -cohabiting romantic or sexual
partners who are opposite or same-sex couples.
Contact sexual violence by an intimate partner includes rape, being made to penetrate someone else, sexual
coercion, and/or unwanted sexual contact perpetrated by an intimate partner. Physical violence is defined as a
range of behaviors from slapping, pushing, or shoving to severe acts such as being beaten, burned, or choked.
Stalking is defined as a pattern of harassing or threatening tactics used by a perpetrator that is both unwanted
and causes fear of safety concerns in the victim. Intimate partner violence (IPV)-related impact includes experiencing
any of the fol owing: being fearful, being concerned for safety, being injured, having a need for medical care,
needing help from law enforcement, missing at least one day of work, or missing at least one day of school. The
fol owing impacts were also included in the lifetime estimate only: any post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms,
a need for housing services, a need for victim advocate services, a need for legal services, and contacting a crisis
hotline. For those who experienced rape or were made to penetrate by an intimate partner, it also includes a
lifetime estimate of having contracted a sexual y transmitted infection. By definition, al stalking victimizations
result in impact because the definition of stalking requires the experience of fear or concern for safety.
The 2015 report includes findings of psychological aggression, which are not discussed here. This includes
expressive aggression such as name cal ing, or insulting or humiliating an intimate partn er; and coercive control,
which includes behaviors that are intended to monitor, control, or threaten an intimate partner.
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a. The most prevalent type of physical violence among women over their lifetime (30.3%) and the past 12
months (3.6%) was being slapped, pushed, or shoved (30.3% and 3.6%, respectively), fol owed by any severe
physical violence (23.2% and 2.5%, respectively). The most prevalent type of physical violence among males
over their lifetime and the past 12 months was being slapped, pushed, or shoved (26% and 4.4%,
respectively) and any severe physical violence (13.9% and 2.1%, respectively). Severe physical violence
includes hitting with a fist or something hard, kicking, hurting by pul ing hair, slamming up against something,
trying to hurt by choking or suffocating, beating, burning on purpose, or using a gun or a knife.


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Appendix C. State and Territory Funding for
Selected FVPSA Services

Table C-1. FVPSA Formula Grant Funding for Shelter and Supportive Services for
States and Territories, FY2019 and FY2020
FY2020
FY2020 Total
FY2019
FY2020 Annual
Supplemental
(Annual +
State/Territory
Final
Appropriations
Appropriations
Supplemental)
Alabama
$1,708,961
$1,771,731
$513,412
$2,285,143
Alaska
$769,171
$776,780
$77,459
$854,239
Arizona
$2,180,467
$2,319,203
$753,295
$3,072,498
Arkansas
$1,281,399
$1,322,481
$316,566
$1,639,047
California
$9,550,039
$10,082,702
$4,154,993
$14,237,695
Colorado
$1,863,390
$1,965,353
$598,251
$2,563,604
Connecticut
$1,415,525
$1,456,447
$375,266
$1,831,713
Delaware
$817,096
$831,852
$101,590
$933,442
District of Columbia
$755,325
$768,394
$73,784
$842,178
Florida
$5,300,180
$5,705,921
$2,237,238
$7,943,159
Georgia
$2,951,036
$3,121,752
$1,104,945
$4,226,697
Hawai
$925,749
$940,523
$149,206
$1,089,729
Idaho
$983,800
$1,020,523
$184,258
$1,204,781
Il inois
$3,519,088
$3,654,320
$1,338,298
$4,992,618
Indiana
$2,112,511
$2,204,192
$702,901
$2,907,093
Iowa
$1,314,793
$1,356,598
$331,515
$1,688,113
Kansas
$1,262,939
$1,297,952
$305,819
$1,603,771
Kentucky
$1,611,747
$1,671,175
$469,352
$2,140,527
Louisiana
$1,667,543
$1,717,100
$489,475
$2,206,575
Maine
$903,612
$920,845
$140,583
$1,061,428
Maryland
$1,971,909
$2,048,574
$634,715
$2,683,289
Massachusetts
$2,153,265
$2,254,598
$724,988
$2,979,586
Michigan
$2,863,914
$2,996,243
$1,049,951
$4,046,194
Minnesota
$1,858,695
$1,945,124
$589,387
$2,534,511
Mississippi
$1,281,508
$1,315,938
$313,699
$1,629,637
Missouri
$1,989,365
$2,068,647
$643,510
$2,712,157
Montana
$837,722
$854,658
$111,582
$966,240
Nebraska
$1,034,873
$1,062,488
$202,646
$1,265,134
Nevada
$1,270,411
$1,327,411
$318,726
$1,646,137
New Hampshire
$904,368
$925,173
$142,480
$1,067,653
New Jersey
$2,639,575
$2,735,570
$935,733
$3,671,303
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Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

FY2020
FY2020 Total
FY2019
FY2020 Annual
Supplemental
(Annual +
State/Territory
Final
Appropriations
Appropriations
Supplemental)
New Mexico
$1,074,526
$1,102,321
$220,100
$1,322,421
New York
$5,102,446
$5,284,701
$2,052,674
$7,337,375
North Carolina
$2,913,735
$3,089,184
$1,090,675
$4,179,859
North Dakota
$772,833
$782,207
$79,837
$862,044
Ohio
$3,248,383
$3,402,219
$1,227,836
$4,630,055
Oklahoma
$1,494,675
$1,545,244
$414,173
$1,959,417
Oregon
$1,533,418
$1,604,607
$440,184
$2,044,791
Pennsylvania
$3,515,141
$3,670,137
$1,345,228
$5,015,365
Rhode Island
$840,893
$853,462
$111,058
$964,520
South Carolina
$1,731,266
$1,818,778
$534,027
$2,352,805
South Dakota
$797,346
$811,491
$92,668
$904,159
Tennessee
$2,116,648
$2,222,922
$711,108
$2,934,030
Texas
$6,953,406
$7,480,470
$3,014,784
$10,495,254
Utah
$1,295,758
$1,357,787
$332,036
$1,689,823
Vermont
$742,424
$750,138
$65,785
$815,923
Virginia
$2,518,114
$2,641,878
$894,681
$3,536,559
Washington
$2,261,856
$2,406,448
$791,523
$3,197,971
West Virginia
$1,017,540
$1,032,898
$189,681
$1,222,579
Wisconsin
$1,917,698
$1,993,641
$610,646
$2,604,287
Wyoming
$733,510
$738,498
$60,685
$799,183
Subtotal, States
$104,281,592
$109,029,299
$34,365,012
$143,394,311
American Samoa
$132,738
$138,688
$43,594
$182,282
Guam
$132,738
$138,688
$43,594
$182,282
Northern Mariana
$132,738
$138,688
$43,594
$182,282
Islands
Puerto Rico
$1,377,868
$1,365,949
$335,612
$1,701,561
Virgin Islands
$132,738
$138,688
$43,594
$182,282
Subtotal,
$1,908,820
$1,920,701
$509,988
$2,430,689
Territories
Total
$106,190,412
$110,950,000
$34,875,000
$145,825,000
States/Territories
Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS), based on data provided by HHS, ACF in September 2020; and
HHS, ACF, FYSB, “FVPSA FY2020 Family Violence Prevention and Services State and Territory Grant Awards,”
August 18, 2020, https://www.acf.hhs.gov/fysb/resource/fvpsa-fy2020-fvps-state-and-territory-grant-awards, and
HHS, ACF, FYSB, “FY 2020 CARES Act FVPSA Supplemental Awards for States,” May 26, 2020,
https://www.acf.hhs.gov/fysb/resource/fy2020-cares-act-fvpsa-supplemental-awards-for-states. FY2020 annual
appropriations were provided by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-94); FY2020
supplemental appropriations were provided by the CARES Act (P.L. 116-136).
Notes: Table does not include funding for other activities supported under the appropriation for domestic
violence shelters, victim services, and program support, such as state domestic violence coalitions.
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Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding



Author Information

Adrienne L. Fernandes-Alcantara
Kara Clifford Billings
Specialist in Social Policy
Analyst in Social Policy



Acknowledgments
Mari Lee, Visual Information Specialist, and Jamie Hutchinson, Visual Information Specialist, assisted
with the graphics presented in this report.

Disclaimer
This document was prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). CRS serves as nonpartisan
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under the direction of Congress. Information in a CRS Report should n ot be relied upon for purposes other
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Congressional Research Service
R42838 · VERSION 19 · UPDATED
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