Dec 18, 2023 | Press Releases

Nunn Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Support Survivors of Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence

DES MOINES – U. S. Representative Zach Nunn (IA-03) today introduced bipartisan legislation to support survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence. The Protecting Women and Children Act would increase access to resources and improve federal grants for organizations that provide safe environments and help those in need following domestic violence or sexual abuse. The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Representative Yadira Caraveo (CO-08). 

“In Iowa, we have work to do to end a pattern of domestic and sexual violence. We must do everything in our power to support the survivors of these terrible crimes,” said Rep. Nunn. “By improving support for the critical community programs that support survivors, we can ensure every woman and child experiencing this violence has a safe and comfortable respite from danger.” 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four women and one in seven men will experience physical violence by their partner at some point in their lifetime. Iowa ranks second in the nation for the percentage of women who have experienced domestic violence. Survivors of any violence from a partner are three times more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, or other mental health illnesses.   

Community organizations are critical for supporting survivors and fostering a safe haven to help those in unsafe situations. In 2021, all 21 of Iowa’s domestic violence programs participated in a 24-hour study through the National Network to End Domestic Violence. These programs assisted more than 1,000 victims seeking shelter and responded to hundreds of phone calls, chats, texts, and emails.  

“With domestic violence deaths in Colorado hitting a record high this year for the second year in a row, it’s clear we must do more to protect survivors and tackle the root causes of this crisis,” said Rep. Caraveo. “I’m proud to join Congressman Nunn in introducing the Protecting Women and Children Act. This crucial legislation directs the Justice Department to identify and close gaps in our domestic violence prevention infrastructure. By doing so, we can help survivors leave dangerous situations and move forward with their lives, while also enabling law enforcement to hold domestic abusers accountable.” 

The bipartisan Protecting Women and Children Act would increase prevention, protection, and long-term support for survivors by: 

  • Improving federal grants available to community organizations to increase protection and support for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking.  
  • Increasing access to federal resources by coordinating with state agencies, non-profits, and other eligible entities to get grants to those who need help the most. 
  • Prioritizing support in rural areas. 

Rep. Nunn introduced the Protecting Women and Children Act in Des Moines. Video of the press conference can be found here. Text of the bill can be found here