U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, is calling on the federal government to ensure that survivors of domestic violence who are estranged or living separately from their married abuser have access to the direct payments Congress approved in the Phase 3 relief package.

After hearing from Iowans, including members of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Ernst is sending a letter asking the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide a method and resources to ensure survivors who are in a vulnerable position receive their direct cash payment, regardless of their living situation.

Ernst is one of the first female Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She wrote, “… Even in normal circumstances, leaving an abusive situation requires immense courage and has ongoing emotional and financial struggles. Including domestic violence resources when providing Americans details on how to collect their stimulus, including information on how survivors can get access, is vital to their livelihood and ability to build a new life.”

Ernst continues,” The IRS must ensure that survivors are able to receive their stimulus check safely. During this crisis, every American deserves the promise of economic stability, and survivors are no different.”

In the most recent bipartisan relief package passed by Congress, Ernst supported additional funding for domestic violence shelters and domestic violence coalitions – such as the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence – and nearly $2 million to bolster the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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