Rep. Cline introduces act easing access to funding in support of domestic violence victims

Published: May. 4, 2020 at 3:15 PM EDT
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Congressman Ben Cline of Virginia's Sixth District has joined forces with Congresswoman Lucy McBath (GA-06) for a bipartisan effort to temporarily waive the non-federal match funding requirement many subgrantees face when receiving aid supporting domestic violence victims and their children.

Federal Government funds supporting the

Family Violence Prevention Services Act

have been helping aid efforts, such as emergency shelter, for the past three decades. Most subgrantees of this federal program are required to produce a non-federal match of $1 for every $5 received that can be paid with cash or "in-kind" payments (facilities and equipment usage, volunteer hours, etc).

H.R. 6685 is known as the "Protect Our Women and Waive Emergency Requirements (POWER) Act" temporarily waives this non-federal match requirement on grant funds during the coronavirus crisis, according to a press release from the office of Representative Cline.

“Throughout my career as a prosecutor, Delegate, and now as Congressman, I have always fought for the victims of domestic violence. By temporarily suspending the non-federal match requirement in the Family Violence Prevention Services Act, Congress can ensure that support services remain available to victims during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders have made it nearly impossible for entities to utilize the ‘in-kind’ contribution option specified in the FVPSA and is why the POWER Act is necessary to safeguard programs for domestic violence victims across the country,” says Cline.

Congresswoman McBath adds, “Since this public health crisis began, the nation has seen a tragic increase in the frequency and severity of domestic violence claims. Organizations that provide resources for survivors and those experiencing violence need our support to continue to serve their communities. I’m glad to take this step with my colleague across the aisle to adapt funding programs to continue to support these organizations as they protect families and work tirelessly to prevent violence.”

Congressman Cline previously served as an assitant prosecutor of domestic violence cases in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. He also was a member of the board for Project Horizon, a shelter for domestic violence victims located in his hometown of Lexington.

During his time in the Virginia House of Delegates, a history of patroning, and signing into law, bills that addressed domestic violence has been a part of Cline's career.

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