Over 10,000 requests went unmet in that same day due to lack of funds
In just one 24-hour period, local domestic violence programs across the country provided help and safety to 64,324 adults and children who were victims of domestic violence. Survivors were given a safe place to stay and resources to escape violence and abuse. Sadly, 10,471 times on that same day, a hotline rang or a victim showed up at the door to request a shelter bed, an attorney, counseling, or another critical service and the local program was forced to say “I am so terribly sorry that we don’t have the resources or funds- can I work with you on a safety plan or try to find you some help in a neighboring town?”
For the seventh consecutive year, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) conducted its annual National Census of Domestic Violence Services on September 12, 2012 and today released their analysis of that data in the report: Domestic Violence Counts: A 24-hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services. The report revealed that reduced funding for domestic violence services means that programs are unable to help survivors with shelter, attain legal help, or leave abusive partners.
The economic conditions of the past few years have had a significant impact on domestic violence programs. “Cutting funds to domestic violence programs means that victims have fewer places to turn,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of NNEDV. “It is impossible to hold offenders accountable and provide safe havens for victims with reduced funding for services and shelters. Budget cuts at the local, state, and federal level are creating increased danger to victims and their children.”
Additionally, the pending funding cuts resulting from the sequester also worry victim advocates. According to recent analysis, sequestration will result in approximately 70,000 fewer victims getting help from domestic violence programs and approximately 36,000 fewer victims having access to protection orders, crisis intervention and counseling, sexual assault services, hospital-based advocacy, transitional housing services, and help with civil legal matters.
As programs are cutting staff, reducing hours, and cutting back on services due to lack of funds, the true harm is to domestic violence victims. “Across the country, domestic violence programs are working harder than ever to help victims of abuse,” added Gandy. “But we also know that, across the board, funding for victim services is dwindling while the demand is climbing.”
Funding to underwrite some of the costs of administering the survey was generously provided by the Avon Foundation for Women and printing was provided by the Allstate Foundation. “This highly regarded report provides a snapshot of the life-saving services being provided to victims of domestic violence every day,” said Carol Kurzig, President of the Avon Foundation for Women. “We are honored to partner with NNEDV to help them shine a light on the great work happening, as well the many unmet needs in every community across the nation.”
On September 12, 2012, 1,646 out of 1,924, or 86%, of identified local domestic violence programs in the United States and territories participated in the 2012 National Census of Domestic Violence Services. The figures represent the information reported by the 1,646 participating programs about services provided during the 24-hour survey period. In addition to the number of victims served, more than 20,000 hotline calls were answered and more than 25,000 individuals were educated on domestic violence across the country on the survey day.
Nebraska specific statistics can be found by clicking Nebraska DV Counts 2012.
Special Thanks go to the 56 state and territorial coalitions who help coordinate this ambitous survey, to the 1,646 local programs who do life saving work and shared a glimpse of it with us, and to the tireless and passionate team at NNEDV who made this survey and report possible.