Costello, Dingell Lead Bipartisan Effort To Address Health Care, Violence Against Women
As the 115th Congress comes to a close and the Democrats prepare to take control of the House in January, Representatives Ryan Costello (PA-06) and Debbie Dingell (MI-12) continue to push forward on addressing women’s health care as it pertains to domestic violence and sexual assault. On Tuesday, they joined Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Mimi Walters (R-CA), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and John Katko (R-NY) in introducing the Violence Against Women Health Act.
The bipartisan legislation would strengthen the health care system’s identification, assessment and response to domestic violence, sexual assault and dating violence survivors with an expanded focus on accessing behavioral health and safety resources across the lifespan. If enacted, it would build upon the 2013 Violence Against Women Act’s (VAWA) health title, a prevention and response initiative that trains health care providers and strengthens collaborations between public health and domestic violence agencies to better identify and serve victims of violence. The VAWA Health Program has trained more than 13,000 health care providers to assess for and respond to domestic and sexual violence in over 230 clinical settings serving more than 1.3 million patients.
“Growing a network of medical professionals who are trained to spot signs of abuse will strengthen communities. Children and elders can be survivors too, we need to think outside the box on how to prevent violence across the spectrum,” said Costello.
Studies show a strong correlation between those receiving mental health and substance abuse services and the likelihood of domestic violence as a root cause. Between 31 and 67 percent of women in substance use disorder treatment programs report experiencing domestic violence within the past year and over 50 percent of survivors of domestic violence have experienced depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. More collaboration is needed between health systems and community advocates to ensure victims have the support they need to escape the abuse and improve their overall health and safety.
“There is no reason a survivor should face hurdles when trying to connect with the services they need to recover. Medical professionals of all kinds can save lives through a referral to the appropriate domestic violence and sexual assault community services. Our bipartisan legislation brings together the fragmented mental health and domestic violence systems so we can best serve survivors,” added Dingell.
The legislation is supported by the American Academy of Neurology, American Psychological Association, American Geriatrics Society, American Association of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, YWCA USA, Futures Without Violence, National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Ujima: The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence in the Black Community and National Network to End Domestic Violence.
In The News
WASHINGTON - A bill introduced Tuesday by the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security would establish a bipartisan commission of non-government experts to examine the ways social media and other online platforms have been exploited to promote and carry out acts of terrorism. “Today,... Read More
WASHINGTON - A bill introduced by freshman Reps. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., and Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn., and intended to provide women entrepreneurs greater access to resources and training has passed through the House Committee on Small Business without objection. H.R. 4405, the Women's Business Centers Improvements Act,... Read More
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., is leading a bipartisan initiative to bolster aid for suicide crisis centers. The initiative, H.R. 4564, would amend the Public Health Service Act to ensure "the provision of high-quality service through the Suicide Prevention Lifeline." It is co-sponsored by... Read More
WASHINGTON - The Blue Dog Coalition on Friday endorsed H.R. 3830, the Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide Americans with more information on how federal tax dollars are being spent and help eliminate duplicative and wasteful government programs. The bill has passed the... Read More
WASHINGTON - If Congressional leaders are serious about restoring civility, reasoned debate and a spirit of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, they should seriously consider bringing back earmarks, a George Mason University professor told a House panel on Thursday. "They are everyone's favorite punching bag, [but] without... Read More
WASHINGTON - In an era of political polarization here in Washington, state legislatures just might hold the key to getting past the friction and on to bipartisan agreement on meaningful legislation. At least that was the consensus of a panel of state lawmakers and academics who... Read More