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Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) joined a bipartisan letter to House and Senate Leadership urging prioritized funding to support services for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. 

“Over the course of the last year, individuals have been forced to spend more time at home with increased levels of stress due to the effects of stay-at-home orders and social isolation. As a result, the risk for family and domestic violence has increased dramatically. For those who are experiencing violence at home, it’s imperative we act now to help them,” said Emmer. 

Emmer concluded, “I am disappointed that previous congressional efforts have not adequately addressed the need to fund this vital work, and I urge my colleagues to include targeted funding for the Office on Violence Against Women. During this time, we must provide the resources necessary to aid victims of sexual assault and violence across the nation.”

The letter asks that strong funding goes towards the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and the Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCAA) in a future coronavirus relief package. Specifically, the letter asks for $375 million for the OVW and $50 million for VOCAA. The funding will support the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grants, Sexual Assault Services Formula Grant Program, Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Program, and the Justice for Families Grant Program, among other programs.

Congressman Emmer is also the sponsor of the Abby Honold Act, which was reintroduced at the start of the 117th Congress. The Abby Honold Act would require the Justice Department to award grants over the next two fiscal years to law enforcement agencies to implement evidence-based practices and trauma-informed techniques in law enforcement’s response to sexual assault cases.

Read more about the Abby Honold Act here.

Read the letter Congressman Emmer joined here.