Over the years, the U.S. Congress has enacted three major laws to fund domestic violence programs and services:

  • Family Violence Prevention and Services Act – 1984
  • Victims of Crime Act – 1984
  • Violence Against Women Act – 1994

These laws fund a variety of initiatives administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Department of Justice (DoJ).

Several other federal programs award grants or otherwise address domestic violence issues:

  • Agency for International Development Women in Development program
  • Citizenship and Immigration Service
  • Department of Defense Community and Family Policy Program
  • Department of Health and Human Services welfare programs:
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (Title IV-A)
    • Child Welfare Services Programs (Title IV-B)
    • Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Programs (Title IV-E)
    • Social Services Block Grant (Title XX)
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Housing and Urban Development:
    • Emergency Shelter Grants Program
    • Community Development Block Grants
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • State Department Office of Global Women’s Issues

The total federal outlay for domestic violence programs, services, and other initiatives has been estimated at $1 billion dollars a year (1).


(1) Stop Abusive and Violent Environments: Estimated National Expenditures for Domestic Violence Prevention and Control. Rockville, MD. 2010.

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