Assembly approves domestic violence prevention fund
STATE HOUSE – On its final day before recessing, the General Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin and House Deputy Majority Whip Christopher R. Blazejewski to create a new fund aimed at preventing domestic and dating violence in Rhode Island.
The legislation (2016-S 2900B, 2016-H 7683A), which has been transmitted to the governor, establishes a domestic violence prevention fund, for which $300,000 was included in the state budget bill. Administered by the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, it would be used to pay for evidence-based programs designed to prevent domestic and dating violence throughout Rhode Island.
“More needs to be done to prevent domestic violence, and it starts with education. All too often, people don’t recognize the signs of domestic violence, and many don’t feel empowered or safe enough to take the right steps to put an end to it. With this program, Rhode Island can work much more actively and effectively through educational campaigns and other services to prevent domestic violence, help its survivors escape and heal, and empower victims and witnesses to recognize it and report it,” said Representative Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence).
Said Senator Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence), “Domestic violence is far too common, and many of its victims are extremely reluctant to report it because it is at the hands of someone they love. We need widespread public education and prevention programs to assist victims, to stop people from becoming victims and to prevent people from becoming abusers. I’m proud of this legislation, which will be a substantial leap forward in taking the prevention of domestic violence and dating violence very seriously in Rhode Island.”
The legislation requires the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence to convene an advisory committee for the fund, including its own executive director, the directors of the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services, and the attorney general or their designees, and representative organizations providing domestic violence and dating violence primary prevention services in Rhode Island. The committee will be responsible for recommending and implementing programs to prevent domestic and dating abuse and for development of criteria for awarding and distributing funds.
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903