McCaul: Hospitality industry could help house domestic violence victims during pandemic

Rep. Michael McCaul

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) called on Vice President Mike Pence and members of the Coronavirus Task Force to request that the hospitality industry offer vacant rooms to house victims of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During a time when Americans are asked to stay home and shelter-in-place, there is a group of individuals whose homes are anything but a place of refuge. According to @CDCgov, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men have experienced violence by their partner,” Rep. McCaul tweeted on April 6. “That is why I sent a letter to the COVID-19 Task Force and @VP Mike Pence asking funds from the #CARESAct go towards finding housing for victims of domestic violence.”

The recently signed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides $45 million for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program (FVPSA). That funding covers emergency shelter and supportive services to domestic violence victims; $2 million for the National Domestic Violence Hotline; and a moratorium on evictions covered under the Violence Against Women Act, according to the congressman, who suggested that such funding be used to entice America’s struggling hospitality industry to get involved by offering safe housing to domestic violence victims.

Utilizing the hospitality industry’s vacant rooms, he wrote, could “provide a haven for victims of domestic violence.”

In his letter to the vice president, Rep. McCaul also noted that many major U.S. cities are experiencing increased calls related to domestic violence.

“It is of utmost importance to house victims of domestic violence as our nation weathers the coronavirus outbreak,” Rep. McCaul wrote. “I want to be sure we can provide these victims an escape from the nightmares they may be experiencing at home.”