JDI also advocates for victim-centered public policy on the federal level. We actively engage with the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation to advocate for federal acts and initiatives that provide legal options, services, and funding. For example, the success of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), and Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) depend on our continued advocacy in collaboration with our national partners. JDI also provides elected officials and federal agencies with feedback about the impact of proposed and new legislation and proposed rules on related topics ranging from firearms to Title IX to immigration.

JDI staff travel annually to Washington, DC to participate in the NNEDV and NAESV sponsored advocacy events and meet face-to-face with the Massachusetts Delegation. We also coordinate with local programs to meet with U.S. Senators and Representatives in their districts.

A little more about the key federal funding sources and legislative initiatives

FVPSA, first authorized in 1984, is dedicated to supporting domestic violence shelters and programs. VAWA, first authorized in 1994, created and supports comprehensive responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. VOCA is larger in scope in that this piece of federal legislation is intended to support state and local programs that assist victims of all crimes.

VAWA, VOCA and FVPSA authorize federal funding that is distributed to states to support sexual and domestic violence community-based programs and coalitions. JDI and Massachusetts community-based programs rely on this funding to continue our work providing resources and support to survivors and those impacted. JDI continues to advocate for the reauthorization of these Acts to ensure funding continues to be appropriated to support this critical work.


JDI’s policy and systems advocacy efforts on behalf of survivors. are a pillar of the Coalition’s work  Your support allows us to sit at decision making tables, educate policy makers, and mobilize support for programs that provide life-saving work every single day.

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