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Pallone Announces Federal Funding to Help Domestic Violence Survivors, Calls on Senate to Pass Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization

September 13, 2019
Press Release
Today marks the 25th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act

Long Branch, N.J. – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced two federal grants totaling nearly $1 million for legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence and children who are exposed to domestic violence, as well as a new prevention program and public awareness campaign. Pallone also called on Senate Republicans to schedule a vote on the House-passed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization. VAWA expired earlier this year.

“These awards are good news for survivors of domestic violence and our entire region. I applaud the dedicated staff at Manavi for the critical support they provide our community and for the important work they do to prevent domestic violence,” Congressman Pallone said. “In Congress, I voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, and it’s time for Senate Republicans to stop blocking this legislation so that survivors have the support they need.”   

In April, Pallone joined 262 House colleagues in voting to pass a strong reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act over the objections of the National Rifle Association (NRA). The reauthorization would block those convicted of domestic abuse and stalking from purchasing guns and strengthens other protections and services for survivors. Senate Republicans have refused to take up the bill.

Manavi will use the funds to improve legal assistance for domestic violence survivors, including additional legal services that are culturally and linguistically accessible to South Asian survivors. Funds will also be used for developing programs that expand and strengthen services for children and young adults who are exposed to sexual assault, domestic violence, and dating violence as well as prevention programs that engage men as role models in the community.

“In 1985, Manavi began as an awareness campaign, but grew into a direct service provider for survivors of gender-based violence in the South Asian community. Manavi was the first organization in the United States to address the needs of South Asian survivors affected by gender-based violence. With these grants, we will be able to expand on this success and provide more services to support the needs of survivors and raise awareness as we work together to create peaceful communities free from gender-based violence,” said Navneet Bhalla, Executive Director of Manavi. “I would like to thank Congressman Pallone for his support of the Violence Against Women Act and his continued advocacy for New Jersey.”

Manavi is the first South Asian women's rights organization in the United States and was founded in 1985.