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Family Violence Prevention and Services Program Fact Sheet

History and Purpose

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Program was originally authorized by sections 301-313 of Title III of the Child Abuse Amendments of 1984 and most recently by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003. The program was reassigned in 2004 from the Office of Community Services to the Family and Youth Services Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The mission of the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) is to provide national leadership on youth and family issues. The Bureau promotes positive outcomes for children, youth, and families by supporting a wide range of comprehensive services and collaborations at the local, Tribal, State, and national levels.

Through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program, FYSB awards grants to State agencies, Territories and Indian Tribes for the provision of shelter to victims of family violence and their dependents, and for related services, such as emergency transportation and child care. These funds supplement many already established community-based family violence prevention and services activities. They also allow States and Tribes to expand current service programs and establish additional services in rural and underserved areas, on Native American reservations, and in Alaskan Native Villages.

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Program also provides formula grant funding for State Domestic Violence Coalitions, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, special interest resource centers, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. In FY 2009, FYSB awarded a total of $127.8 million for 265 Family Violence Prevention and Services Program grantees.

Services Provided

Formula Programs

State Agencies & Native American Tribes and Alaskan Native Villages operating battered women’s shelters provide emergency shelter, crisis counseling, information and referral, legal and service advocacy, transportation, emergency child care, and referrals for health care. Grantees reported housing more than 300,000 adults and children during FY 2005.

State Domestic Violence Coalitions support training, technical assistance, and the implementation of collaborative activities with public agencies and other service providers within their States. Coalitions also provide assistance with needs assessments, social service and legal advocacy training, and Domestic Violence Specialist Certification programs.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

The National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-799-SAFE (7223), is a toll-free line that is available to callers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Hotline ( serves as a critical partner in the prevention and resource assistance efforts of the Domestic Violence Resource Network. The Hotline employs bilingual advocates, technology for callers who are deaf and hearing impaired, access to translators in 139 languages, and materials in a variety of formats and languages. The Hotline opened on February 21, 1996, and today receives more than 16,000 calls each month.

National Domestic Violence Resource Network

The National Domestic Violence Resource Network (DVRN) is a network of five centers that provide resource information, training, and technical assistance to Federal, State, local and Tribal agencies, domestic violence programs, local community- and faith-based organizations, and other entities and individuals who provide services to domestic violence victims. The DVRN works to strengthen the existing support systems serving battered women, their children, and other victims of domestic violence. Each resource center below promotes research and provides technical assistance and leadership in the development of effective domestic violence public policy.

  • The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

  • The Resource Center on Civil and Criminal Law, also known as the Battered Women’s Justice Project (800-903-0111)

  • The Resource Center on Child Custody Protection

  • The Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence
    (888-792-2873 or 800-313-1310)

  • Sacred Circle, National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women (877-733-7623)

Discretionary Programs

In addition to the formula grant programs, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program also funds a range of discretionary programs each year for the purposes of: (1) preventing family violence; (2) protecting victims and their dependents; (3) improving the design, delivery, and coordination of services to address family violence; (4) gathering information on the incidences of family violence; and (5) increasing knowledge and understanding of issues through research, demonstration, and evaluation projects.

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