Sending Office: Honorable Debbie Dingell
Cosponsor H.R. 7212, The Violence Against Women Health Act of 2018
Current Cosponsors: Cárdenas, Castor, Clarke, Costello, DeSaulnier, Eshoo,
González-Colón, Katko, McMorris Rodgers, Roybal-Allard, Stefanik, Walters, Frederica Wilson
Supporting Organizations: American Academy of Neurology, American Psychological Association, American Geriatrics Society, American Association of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, YWCA USA, Futures Without Violence, National Center on Domestic
Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Ujima: The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence in the Black Community, National Network to End Domestic Violence
Please join us in cosponsoring the bipartisan Violence Against Women Health Act. In 2005, Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which included a new health title to develop a public health response to abuse by strengthening the health
care system’s identification, assessment and response of victims. To date, the VAWA Health program has trained more than 13,000 health care providers to assess for and respond to domestic and sexual violence in over 230 clinical settings serving more than
1.3 million patients. More patients are being screened, but more collaboration between health systems and advocates is needed to connect victims to services, help them escape the abuse, and improve their overall health and safety.
Studies show a strong correlation between those receiving mental health and substance abuse services and the likelihood of domestic violence as a root cause. The Violence Against Women Health Act expands training to behavioral health care providers on how
to assess for signs of domestic violence, and adds a focus on early childhood programs and abuse in later life to recognize the lifetime impacts of violence and abuse.
In addition to reauthorizing the current VAWA health program, the bill would make a few updates without increasing the current authorization of $10 million:
- Add a focus on early childhood programs and abuse in later life to recognize the lifetime impacts of violence and abuse;
- Include a focus on behavioral health to acknowledge the high number of victims receiving services in mental health and/or substance use disorder treatment settings (31% to 67% of women in substance use disorder treatment programs report experiencing domestic
violence within the past year);
- Add state domestic and sexual violence service providers as more of a partner with health systems; and
- Include HRSA as a federal partner to share resources on training health care providers in HRSA-funded community health centers.
We invite you to join us as a cosponsor of this important VAWA legislation. For more information or to cosponsor please contact Natalie.Martinez@mail.house.gov in Rep. Debbie Dingell’s office or Hannah.Anderson@mail.house.gov in Rep. Ryan Costello’s office.
Debbie Dingell Ryan Costello
Member of Congress Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0