Austin, Texas – The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) and The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today celebrate the 18th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) and ask Congress to support reauthorization of the landmark legislation.

The Hotline was created by the legislation and has helped millions of women, men and families since its’ creation.  The Hotline receives more than 22,000 calls a month from victims of domestic violence and their families and friends.

“The Hotline is open 24-hours a day, every day and it is a life-line for women, men, children and families in danger and offers victims help and hope,” said Dyanne Purcell, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.  “We are honored to have helped more than 2 million callers since the Hotline was created by the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA).”

United States House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, recently declared, “It is essential that programs like these are in place to protect victims not just from physical bruises but from the emotional and mental scars as well.  Funding through VAWA has helped women escape abuse and rebuild their lives.”

The Hotline and the Texas Council on Family Violence thank Texas leaders including: the Texas Congressional Delegation, the Texas Legislature, Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for their strong support of victims of domestic violence.

“As Attorney General of Texas, I have the distinct privilege of administering the state’s Crime Victims Compensation Fund, which provides financial support to victims of violent crime and awards grants to non-profit organizations that serve Texas victims. I am proud to say that the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) is one of our most effective partners. Given TCFV’s successes right here in our state, it is heartening to know that law enforcement and victims across the country will benefit from TCFV’s demonstrated ability to help vulnerable souls escape their dangerous oppressors,” said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.  Abbott has joined a long list of other Attorneys General in supporting VAWA Reauthorization.

 

Vice President Joe Biden today also praised the passage of the Violence Against Women Act saying it gives law enforcement and courts more tools to combat domestic violence and hold offenders accountable. “We created a national hotline to direct victims to life-saving assistance and since VAWA passed, annual rates of domestic violence have dropped by more than 60 percent.”

VAWA represents our federal government’s coordinated community response to sexual assault and family violence services.  Rape crisis centers, family violence centers, law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts all form a part of this response.

“Texas enjoys excellent and effective representation in Congress and particularly on the Judiciary Committee.  We appreciate that Chairman Smith working in a bi-partisan manner to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women’s Act.  VAWA enhances all parts of our state’s coordinated community response, from victim services to law enforcement to prosecutors and courts,” said Gloria A. Terry, President of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “The bottom line: VAWA has saved lives for almost two decades,” said Terry.

Last year, Texas received over $8.8 million as a result of VAWA.  Rape crisis centers used VAWA and other funding to serve victims by answering nearly 34,000 sexual assault hotline calls to Texas rape crisis centers and serving more than 15,000 sexual assault victims through support groups.  More than 80,000 victims of domestic violence including: women, children and men found safety and services at family violence centers.

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The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), formed in 1978, is one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the nation.  TCFV promotes safe and healthy relationships by supporting service providers, facilitating strategic prevention efforts, and creating opportunities for freedom from domestic violence.
www.tcfv.org

The National Domestic Violence Hotline was established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed by Congress. The Hotline is a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. The Hotline answers a variety of calls and is a resource for domestic violence advocates government officials, law enforcement agencies and the general public.
http://www.thehotline.org/