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FVPSA was initially authorized in 1984 as the first federal policy and funding stream to address IPV in the United States, and it remains the main federal source of support for direct services and assistance to IPV survivors and their families.The statute requires that DHHS grant 70% of all FVPSA funds to states and territories according to their population size.The bulk of federal policy and funding intended to address IPV in the United States is directed to legal and criminal justice interventions, or to funding for victim services; yet, an increasing amount of attention is being paid to violence prevention.Three major policy initiatives form the core of the national response to violence and sexual assault: the Family Violence Prevention & Services Act (FVPSA), the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).Reproductive control includes acts of sexual violence, contraceptive sabotage, pressuring a woman to become pregnant against her will, and coercing a woman to either carry a pregnancy to term or have an abortion. Indeed, IPV is most prevalent among women of reproductive age.
The CDC describes sexual violence as an attempted or committed sexual act perpetrated against a person who has not freely given consent or is unable to refuse.
Even though abortion rates specific to women who experience an unintended pregnancy resulting from IPV are unknown, many women may be highly motivated to terminate these pregnancies.
(Among all women, about four in 10 unintended pregnancies in the United States end in abortion.) According to a nationally representative Guttmacher Institute study of women obtaining abortions from hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices in the United States, 7% reported having experienced IPV by the man involved in the pregnancy.
Agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are responsible for implementing these programs.
Further, in approaching IPV as a matter of public health, both the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the nation’s publicly supported family planning effort explicitly and directly address the health care needs of women experiencing IPV.