Congresswoman Moore Supports Legislation to Aid Domestic Violence Survivors

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Washington, November 20, 2019 | comments

Congresswoman Moore Supports Legislation to Aid Domestic Violence Survivors

Congresswoman Moore joined Reps. Tom O’Halleran, Ann Wagner (MO-02), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), and Harley Rouda (CA-48) in introducing the Help End Abusive Living Situations (HEALS) Act, legislation to assist survivors of domestic violence to rapidly secure safe housing situations.

“As a survivor of domestic violence, I have made it my personal mission to uplift and empower individuals who have been victimized,” said Congresswoman Moore. “For those fleeing dangerous situations, access to safe housing can mean the difference between life and death. I am so proud to support this legislation, which will tackle the current housing shortage and help keep women, children, and men safe.”

“As a former law enforcement officer, some of the very first calls I responded to involved domestic violence. I’ve seen firsthand the damage this uniquely heinous kind of violence can do to families and to survivors.” said Rep. O’Halleran. “No person experiencing DV should be forced to stay in a dangerous situation because they do not have housing elsewhere. I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce this bill that will make a real difference for those seeking to leave abusive situations.”

The HEALS Act directs the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to prioritize funding for transitional housing, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The legislation also establishes standards in evaluating current resources available to survivors and instructs HUD to research and identify new housing options that may be viable for survivors of domestic violence.

“Survivors of intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual assault often face volatile situations where they find themselves without a stable or safe place to live,” said Congresswoman Wagner.

“Without safe housing options, victims can fall back into the cycle of violence they are desperately trying to escape. Many victims are also without a support network while they work to rebuild their lives, and these housing resources can give them the support they need to break the cycle of abuse. This legislation will help provide a vital lifeline to victims as they fight for independence and safety.”

“A lack of housing or safe place to stay is one of the most dangerous barriers for survivors of domestic abuse or sexual assault,” said Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz. “Too often, those trying to escape abusive relationships have nowhere to go. No one should be made to choose between an abusive relationship and homelessness. I will always stand with survivors of domestic and sexual violence, which is why today, I join my colleagues in introducing the HEALS Act to ensure survivors have access to vital housing assistance.”

“This bipartisan legislation empowers survivors of abusive living situations and provides critical resources needed to escape the cyclical violence that plagues so many United States households,” said Congressman Rouda. “I thank my colleagues for their work on this issue and am proud to support the thousands of brave Americans who have endured or are currently enduring domestic violence.”

“Housing is safety for survivors. It is essential that our government designate resources to provide survivor-centered housing so that all survivors can find safety when fleeing danger.” – Monica McLaughlin, Director of Public Policy at the National Network to End Domestic Violence

“As the largest network of domestic and sexual violence service providers, YWCA USA knows that housing is the most common need for survivors of domestic violence, but the limited availability is unacceptable,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Chief Executive Officer of YWCA USA. “All women deserve to feel safe at home, and no one should have to choose between shelter and safety. We applaud Representative Moore for introducing the HEALS Act, which takes important steps toward addressing the dire need for housing that domestic violence survivors face.”

“When we ask survivors of domestic violence about their dream home, their answer is simple; they want to be safe” said Patti Seger, Executive Director of End Domestic Abuse WI. “Survivors want a home of peace and security, free from violence. This should not be difficult to provide, but in our current housing shortage, it is. This is why legislation like the HEALS Act is so important, because survivors deserve peace, security, and a home free from violence. We want to thank Congresswoman Moore for her continued dedication to ensuring the safety of survivors of violence and their children.”

"While I am not a survivor of domestic violence, I know that women are often forced to flee from their homes--sometimes with children in tow--leaving life as they knew it behind. Having sheltered a friend whose partner had attacked her, I know how dangerous the situation could have been for both of us.  While her story had a happy ending, she and others like her need access to safe spaces.  I am proud that we have a dedicated representative like Congresswoman Moore to fight for women like my friend," Paula Penebaker, President & CEO, YWCA Southeast Wisconsin.

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