The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) applauds the House of Representatives for including important provisions to address the needs of survivors of domestic violence in H.R.6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act). The HEROES Act builds on the CARES Act and makes important investments and policy changes to provide critical services and to support survivors.
Ruth M. Glenn, NCADV’s President & CEO, says, “The HEROES Act picks up where the CARES Act left off by investing in victim services, financially supporting survivors, providing hazard pay for advocates, waiving grant matching requirements, and ensuring the immediate and long-term viability of the Crime Victims Fund. These provisions will allow domestic violence shelters and programs to continue to provide lifesaving services during a time of unprecedented need. We look forward to working with the Senate to ensure the Senate phase four COVID-19 supplemental appropriations package is responsive to the needs of survivors and not only includes but expands upon the provisions in the HEROES Act that are critical to victim safety, security and healing.”
Among other important provisions, the HEROES Act:
● Ensures the Crime Victims Fund will remain solvent and waives matching requirements for Victims of Crime Act victim assistance grants
● Provides $48 million for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) and waives matching requirements
● Appropriates $200 billion for hazard pay for employees doing essential work, including domestic violence and sexual assault advocates
● Protects immigrant survivors by ensuring all immigrants have access to COVID-19 testing and treatment covered by Medicaid, including non-citizen taxpayers in stimulus direct payments, and temporarily extending immigration status and work authorization for people whose statuses have recently or will soon expire
● Includes $100 million in additional funding to Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grant programs and waives matching requirements
● Appropriates $1 billion for incremental housing vouchers for which survivors of domestic and sexual violence are eligible
● Allocates $2 million to the National Domestic Violence Hotline
● Provides direct stimulus payments to households meeting certain income requirements
● Supports state and local governments
● Includes $100 million to help survivors of domestic violence and low-income women obtain qualified domestic relations orders
● Increases funding for nutritional programs and increases maximum SNAP benefits
● Equips the Legal Services Corporation with an additional $50 million
● Improves paid leave (eliminates employer exemptions, expands usages and access and increases wage replacement)
We are disappointed that the HEROES Act does not:
● Provide sufficient funding for VAWA programs, including formula grants that can get out to the field quickly, grants for Tribal victims services, grants for culturally-specific organizations, and grants for Outreach and Services to Underserved Populations
● Provide access to paid safe leave for survivors and to unemployment insurance for survivors who have to leave their jobs due to domestic or sexual violence
● Prohibit immigration enforcement at sensitive locations and prohibit the detention and removal of people with pending humanitarian immigration applications
NCADV appreciates the hard work the House put into crafting this bill and all of the important provisions that will benefit survivors. We look forward to continuing to work with both the House and Senate to ensure that a final, bipartisan phase four COVID-19 supplemental appropriations bill maintains and expands these provisions to ensure survivors have access to safety, stability, and healing and that advocates get the support they need to continue their essential work.
Effective October 6, 2022, The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) have joined together. To learn more about this exciting venture, to expand the eco-system of holistic and inclusive support for survivors and advocates, please visit Project Opal.