Fitzpatrick, Kim unveil bill to improve family violence, protection services

Bipartisan legislation offered on April 13 by U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Young Kim (R-CA) would reauthorize and expand federal funding for programs focused on supporting survivors and preventing family and domestic violence. 

“Domestic violence affects families and communities across the nation, and victims and survivors deserve stronger and meaningful protections,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said. 

“Nearly 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States every single minute, which adds up to more than 10 million women and men each year,” Rep. Kim said. “Unfortunately, the impacts of domestic violence on victims worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Rep. Fitzpatrick signed on as the lead original cosponsor of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act of 2023, H.R. 2604, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) and fellow original cosponsor Rep. Kim to amend the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act to make improvements.

“Our bipartisan Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act funds important resources for protection and prevention,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “I am proud to join my colleagues in standing up for victims of domestic violence.”

If enacted, H.R. 2604 would increase the funding authorization level to $253 million to respond to low per-program funding levels and provide access to the bill’s funds for programs not currently funded, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.

“No victim should ever feel alone. Funding from the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act provides domestic violence resources to more than 1.3 million victims and their children every year,” said Rep. Kim. “I will continue to do all I can to support common-sense policies that uplift domestic violence victims and ensure lifesaving resources and treatment are available in California’s 40th District.”

H.R. 2604 also would expand support for and access to culturally specific programs that address the multi-layered challenges facing victims from racial and ethnic minority populations as they seek services and protections from abuse, the summary says.

Among several other provisions, the bill also would bolster the capacity of Native American Indian Tribes to exercise their sovereign authority to more fully respond to domestic violence in their communities and would authorize funding for tribal coalitions and the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, states the summary.

“This is one more step we have taken together as we move toward answering the call of state, local, and tribal leadership for more resources and increased funding to help end domestic violence,” said Rep. McBath.