Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz announced the Department of Health & Human Services' (DHHS) Administration for Children and Families will award $157,142 for the Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) in Honolulu. Schatz wrote a letter in support of this grant to DHHS in August highlighting the valuable protections and services that DVAC provides.
The DVAC currently serves the Island of Oahu, including 315,000 people on the Leeward Coast, and assists large communities of traditionally underserved populations, in particular women of Native Hawaiian and Filipino descent. The funding will go towards establishing the Ho'oikaika "Ohana Program (the Strengthen the Family Program), which will establish a group of community leaders, survivors, cultural experts and navigators, and specialists in the field of treating traumatic events in order to better assess and define the needs of the historically underserved Native Hawaiian community.
"This grant will allow the Domestic Violence Action Center on Oahu to design culturally specific program services for Native Hawaiian survivors and their families, which is a critical step towards interrupting the cycle of violence," said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. "The effects of domestic violence do not end with the victim. Violence hurts our families, children, and communities. The DVAC continues to do excellent work, and I know that these funds will have a positive impact on one of our traditionally underserved communities."
As one of his first acts in the U.S. Senate, Schatz cosponsored legislation reauthorizing the Violence against Women Act, which President Obama signed into law earlier this year. The bill made significant improvements to the law by strengthening sexual assault prevention and broadening the communities it protects.
"Senator Schatz actively worked with his colleagues for the successful reauthorization of VAWA, and these funds are an extension of his efforts," said Nanci Kreidman, CEO of the Domestic Violence Action Center. "Upon his swearing in, Senator Schatz immediately began collaborating with the community, policy makers and Hawai"i government entities. By working to bring these resources to Hawai"i, he is helping to ensure that the Native Hawaiian community will receive the expertise and focus needed to address domestic violence."
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.