New Report: Increased Funding Critical to Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence
Friday, March 14, 2014 10:30 AM

Thousands of victims of domestic violence in the United States were denied critical shelter, housing and support services in 2013 due to budget cuts and inadequate resources, according to a report released in March by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). Of immediate concern, nearly 60% of victims whose needs could not be met were women leaving their abusers and who needed emergency shelter and housing assistance. In compiling its report, Domestic Violence Counts 2013: A 24-hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services,” NNEDV surveyed 1647 domestic violence programs across the United States, and asked for information on the services provided on a randomly chosen day:  September 17, 2013.

The report's authors found that 1,696 staff positions were eliminated in 2013 due to significant cuts in government, foundation, and individual financial support. An estimated 70% of eliminated staff positions provided direct support services to domestic violence victims, despite an 18.5% increase in domestic violence referrals linked to Affordable Care Act guidelines that require physicians to screen for domestic violence and connect victims with services. Such referrals are expected to increase as the health care law is fully implemented.

However, despite limited resources, 66,581 domestic violence victims and their children still received critical services and assistance on September 17, 2013. Domestic violence hotlines answered more than 20,000 calls, or 14 calls a minute, and 23,000 individuals received information and trainings on domestic violence. The President and CEO of the NNEDV, Kim Gandy, stated: “We have made so much progress toward ending violence and giving survivors avenues for safety. But continued program cuts jeopardize that progress and jeopardize the lives of victims.”

Compiled from: Nationwide Survey Reveals Urgent Need for Increased Funding for Domestic Violence Service Providers, NNEDV (March 6, 2014).