Pallone Announces Federal Funding to Help Sexual Assault Survivors and Calls for Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act
New Brunswick, N.J. – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced a federal grant from the Department of Justice totaling $288,300 to Manavi, Inc. in New Brunswick. This funding will be used to maintain and enhance advocacy, supportive counseling, and direct intervention services for South Asian survivors of sexual assault. The funding will also enhance Manavi’s outreach efforts to increase awareness to the South Asian community and develop and distribute culturally specific sexual assault information brochures in 11 languages. Pallone also called on Senate Republicans to schedule a vote on the House-passed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization. VAWA expired in 2019.
“This award is good news for survivors of sexual assault 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 of 2019, 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 was founded in 1985 and was the first organization in the United States to address the needs of South Asian survivors affected by gender-based violence. Manavi provides culturally specific and linguistically appropriate services. We address both the immediate needs of survivors facing abuse and the long term vision of establishing peaceful communities free from gender-based violence. Manavi has a transitional home established in 1997 where we accommodate and support survivors and children. We are very thankful to receive these grants. As a result of this funding, Manavi will be able to enhance and expand our direct services to support the needs of survivors and continue to engage in community outreach to raise awareness about gender-based violence in the South Asian community. We would like to thank Congressman Pallone for his continued support and advocacy to support survivors of gender-based violence,” said Manavi Executive Director Navneet Bhalla.
Manavi is the first South Asian women's rights organization in the United States and was founded in 1985.