March 25, 2020
From Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a champion in the Senate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse, called on the Trump administration to ensure that organizations that help victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence have the funding and resources needed to continue providing these critical services during the coronavirus pandemic. Reports have shown that emergency situations have historically led to increased reports of domestic abuse to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, forcing millions of Americans to shelter in place, domestic violence service providers are predicting an increased need for access to emergency childcare and domestic violence shelters and supplies to keep center and program sites safe and secure. In a letter to the HHS’s Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), Senator Gillibrand, along with Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), expressed concern for the well-being of families who face an increased risk of domestic violence during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and urged the administration to ensure service providers have the flexibility and resources needed to help victims and survivors of domestic violence.
“Sexual assault and domestic violence are always devastating problems and this pandemic will put New York’s victims and survivors at greater risk — we must support them as they seek assistance,” said Senator Gillibrand. “When people are required to stay home, abusive situations can become even worse. We have an obligation to ensure that providers of services to domestic abuse and sexual violence survivors have the preparation, resources, and funding to address the unique challenges that these victims face during a public health emergency. I will always fight for programs that provide the necessary resources to protect our most vulnerable families.”
The letter was led in the U.S. Senate by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and cosigned by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tina Smith (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).