Today in the East Room, President Bush recognized October as
Domestic Violence Awareness Month, announcing new initiatives
designed to address the problem of domestic violence in America's
The President announced the creation of the Family Justice
Centers initiative by the Department of Justice in coordination
with other agencies to help local communities provide
comprehensive services under one roof to victims of domestic violence.
President Bush also announced the creation of the Safe and
Bright Futures for Children initiative from the Department of
Health and Human Services which will provide grants to community
and faith-based organizations to bring together services helping
children who witness domestic violence to prevent the cycle of
violence from continuing from one generation to the next.
Finally, the President announced that the Stop Family
Violence postage stamp went on sale today across the U.S. which
will raise money for domestic violence prevention efforts.
Background on Today's Presidential Action
Domestic violence is a serious problem affecting women, men and
children of all backgrounds. According to the National Crime
Victimization Survey, there were nearly 700,000 documented incidents of
domestic violence affecting individuals and families in 2001.
President Bush is committed to preventing domestic violence, addressing
the effects of domestic violence on all Americans, and has secured
historic levels of funding for the Violence Against Women programs at
the Department of Justice. In the FY 2002 budget, the President
requested and secured approximately a $100 million increase in funding
for these programs, and has continued to provide similar levels of
funding in the FY 2003 and FY 2004 budgets. Federal prosecutions
relating to violence against women increased by 35% in FY 2002. The
Bush Administration is committed to zero tolerance towards domestic
Family Justice Centers
Victims of domestic violence often are
forced to seek help in a fragmented system of separate agencies
offering uncoordinated services. The Family Justice Center initiative
will make a victim's search for assistance and justice much easier
during a difficult time. The Centers will provide comprehensive
services for victims of domestic violence at one location, including
medical care, counseling, law enforcement assistance, faith-based
services, social services, employment assistance, and housing
Through an interagency effort led by the Department of Justice,
the Bush Administration will award $20 million in grants in FY
2004 funds to help establish and support Family Justice Centers in 12
communities partnering with local community leaders, nonprofit
agencies, corporate partners, and government agencies.
Safe and Bright Futures for Children
Children who witness domestic violence have a greater chance of continuing a cycle of
violence, and it is therefore critical to address the needs of children
traumatized by domestic violence. The Safe and Bright Futures for
Children initiative will provide treatment and support to help children
affected by domestic violence to break the cycle of violence.
In times of crisis, many victims of domestic violence turn to the
faith community, and the Federal Government is working to partner with
faith-based organizations. The Department of Health and Human Services
will award $5 million in grants in FY 2004 to community and faith-based
organizations to bring together local services to help children and
youth who witness domestic violence. The Initiative will provide
crisis intervention and counseling, and will coordinate violence
prevention and youth development strategies.
Stop Family Violence postage stamp release
Today, the Stop Family Violence postage stamp went on sale in
post offices across the U.S. raising money for domestic violence
prevention programs including the new Safe and Bright Futures for
Children grants through the Department of Health and Human
This is only the third time in the U.S. Postal Service history
that it has issued a fundraising stamp.