Joyce, Wexton Introduce National Domestic Violence Prevention Action Plan Act

Oct 27, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) and Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) introduced the National Domestic Violence Prevention Action Plan Act of 2021, important legislation that would expand, intensify, and coordinate domestic violence prevention programs in the United States.

“Every sixty seconds, 20 Americans experience physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and/or psychological abuse from their intimate partner,” said Congressman Joyce. “During my 25 years as Geauga County Prosecutor, I witnessed first-hand how these crimes impact the physical, mental, and economic wellbeing of survivors and their loved ones. It is critical that we take a more proactive approach to preventing domestic violence both here in Ohio and across the country. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill alongside Congresswoman Wexton that will help us do just that. As a co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, I will continue to do everything in my power to eradicate the threat posed by domestic violence.”

“As a former prosecutor and advocate for abused and neglected kids, I’ve seen firsthand the scars that domestic violence leaves on survivors and their families. It is heartbreaking to hear of the long-lasting impacts to physical and mental health that victims face, especially when we know there are proven methods to prevent domestic violence which lack the attention and investment they deserve,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “The best way we can address the domestic violence crisis is by reducing the likelihood of violence through prevention programs such as healthy relationship education and bystander empowerment. That is exactly what my bipartisan National Domestic Violence Prevention Action Plan Act aims to do by developing a strategy for expanding, coordinating, and evaluating prevention efforts across the country.”

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 10 million Americans become victims of domestic violence per year, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reports that intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime. In fact, a DOJ analysis of homicide trends in the United States from 1980 through 2008 proved that nearly one out of every five murder victims were killed by an intimate partner. However, to date, the response to domestic violence in the United States has been primarily focused on intervention after the problem has been identified and harm has occurred.

The National Domestic Violence Prevention Action Plan Act of 2021 would address this reactive approach by directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with representatives from relevant agencies and subject matter experts, to create a National Action Plan on domestic violence prevention that provides a whole-of-government, community-informed, and forward-looking approach in addressing domestic violence across the country. The National Action Plan would include objectives, long-term and short-term goals, methods and recommendations for implementation, and the launch of a national media campaign. 

A co-founder of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, Joyce has spearheaded efforts on the federal level to crack down on perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence and worked across the aisle to support the survivors of these horrible crimes. In pursuit of those goals, he has taken action to battle the backlog of untested sexual assault kitsreduce domestic violence and abuse in the United States militaryaddress online sexual violence and cyber harassmentreauthorize funding for the critical National Sexual Assault Hotline, and more.

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