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Safe Horizon Responds to Calls to Eliminate VAWA Funding

Contact: María Corral, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications
t. 212-577-7710 | c. 773.263.3207 | e.


January 20, 2017 (New York, NY) – Safe Horizon’s CEO, Ariel Zwang, made the following statement in response to a proposal to eliminate all funding authorized through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

It is appalling that the Trump Administration is considering a proposal from the Heritage Foundation to eliminate each of the twenty-five critically important funding streams included in the Violence Against Women (VAWA) legislation. For more than twenty years, VAWA has provided an immediate path to safety for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes.

President Trump said today that he wants to be the President of all Americans. We urge the President to remember that ‘all Americans’ includes the one in four  women and one in seven men who experience domestic violence each year in our country. ‘All Americans’ includes the one in six women who are the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.

Our country would take a monumental step backwards if these budget cuts are allowed to go through. We would return to the days when victims of domestic violence and sexual assault had nowhere to turn for help, and were forced to stay in violent, dangerous conditions.  We would lose culturally-specific services tailored to a diverse array of Americans impacted by violence and abuse. We would forgo the ability to show through the force of law that this country unequivocally rejects crimes such as domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

To the Heritage Foundation which referred to VAWA as ‘a misuse of federal resources and a distraction from concerns that are truly the province of the federal government, ’ we offer this response: helping victims of crime flee abuse and obtain safety and support is at the very heart of what a civilized society should provide.  We urge the White House to reject this atrocious proposal, and call on federal lawmakers to stand united with crime victims and promote public safety for all Americans.

Since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has enabled hundreds of thousands of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes to escape violence and get immediate help.  This landmark legislation saves lives every day by funding legal services, crisis intervention, and victim support.  VAWA has enjoyed bi-partisan support for more than two decades, as lawmakers across the political spectrum recognize its importance and value to crime victims all across our country.

About Safe Horizon

Safe Horizon empowers victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking to move from crisis to confidence – touching the lives of 250, 000 New Yorkers every year.