Friday, June 05, 2015
Billy Long: I will work toward ending domestic violence
The House this week continued work on appropriations bills and passed H.R. 2578, the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2016. Aside from this moving us closer to achieving all 12 appropriations bills this summer, this touches a significant issue in the Ozarks – domestic violence.
More than 7,600 domestic violence incidents were reported in the Seventh Congressional District in 2012 - the last year with available complied data. That’s an average of 20 reported cases per day with many more going unreported. Local law enforcement officials in the Ozarks have seen year-over-year increases since then with domestic violence shelters unable to meet the need.
In May, I sat down for a roundtable discussion with groups from across the Ozarks concerned with this ugly trend in southwest Missouri. The conversation we had during the meeting shed light on how I can advocate on the federal level for programs granting law enforcement, medical and counseling groups the resources needed to confront this issue.
To follow through on discussions during the conversation, I voted in favor of H.R. 2576 and applaud the bipartisanship in its passage. This appropriations bill would give an 11.5 percent funding boost for a number of domestic violence programs. $479 million would be put toward grant programs that could reduce the number of domestic violence situations in the Ozarks, such as:
· $42.5 million for victim legal assistance.
· $33 million for rural domestic violence and child abuse enforcement assistance grants.
· $35 million for sexual assault victim assistance.
· Up to $16 million to support families in the justice system.
· $4.5 million for enhanced training and service to end violence against and abuse of women.
· $500,000 for the National Resource Center on Workplace Responses to help domestic violence victims.
I am glad to help further efforts to curb domestic violence in the Ozarks and will continue working toward ending this senseless, dark problem impacting our community.
If you or someone you know have been a victim of domestic violence or abuse, click here to access a list of resources for help. Any eligible organizations for these and other grant opportunities may contact my Springfield office, at (417) 889-1800, for information and support.