U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.-10th) and Congressman David Joyce (R-OH) introduced the bipartisan National Domestic Violence Prevention Action Plan Act, which would develop a national strategy for domestic violence prevention, according to an Oct. 27 release.
The focus is to create a comprehensive national effort to equip institutions and individuals with the tools to better prevent domestic violence before it occurs, the release states, in addition to the several government programs providing shelter and support for victims of domestic violence.
“As a former prosecutor and advocate for abused and neglected kids, I’ve seen firsthand the scars that domestic violence leaves on survivors and their families,” Wexton said in a prepared statement.
“It is heartbreaking to hear of the long-lasting impacts to physical and mental health that victims face, especially when we know there are proven methods to prevent domestic violence which lack the attention and investment they deserve,” she said. “The best way we can address the domestic violence crisis is by reducing the likelihood of violence through prevention programs such as healthy relationship education and bystander empowerment.”
If the legislation passes, the bill would authorize an appropriation of $25 million per year through fiscal year 2025 to the Department of Health and Human Services to support the proposed plan.
During her tenure in Congress, Wexton has helped secure additional resources to aid victims of domestic violence, including successfully advocating for the passage of the VOCA Fix Act, which restored funding to victim services agencies, and introducing bipartisan legislation to provide guidance and resources for law enforcement agencies responding to increased levels of domestic violence during the COVID pandemic, according to her office.