We have learned that the Iowa Legislative Justice Systems Committee Budget Chairs are proposing a $1.7 million cut to victim services funding in next year’s 2018 budget. If enacted, this would be a 26% cut in funds that go to help survivors of sexual and domestic abuse across the state.
Our legislators need to hear from us this weekend before these cuts are enacted. Please contact your legislators to help us make a solid case for sustained funding for victim services in Iowa. Ask your legislators to tell their leaders and their colleagues on the Justice Systems Budget Committee to maintain funding at current levels, and support the survivors in their area.
What would it take to keep you safe from the one person that knows everything about you? Batterers have access to every aspect of victims lives, including their children. The knowledge batterers have created leverage, and the capacity to threaten or manipulate their victim’s resources, in a way that doesn’t exist in most criminal behavior. Making it more complex are human emotions. Many times we hear victims say “I don’t want to end the relationship; I just want him to stop hurting me.” Ultimately what we know is that without an emergency, crisis intervention and supportive service – victims have nowhere to turn. That means the violence escalates and victims and their children are trapped. Last year DVIP served more than 2000 women, men, and children.
In addition, state funds directly leverage federal funds – without state funds, we lose federal funds as well. These losses would mean cutting half of our services – services like counseling, advocacy, youth services, and accompanying victims to court.
Imagine if your daughter had no one to turn to for help and support. Nowhere safe to go.
Approximately 800 rural victims in our service area are likely to go completely without emergency services of any kind – because we have no other funding (except State and Federal) to support rural services. State and Federal funds ensure all victims have safety and options.
Iowa is proud to have one of the strongest victim service program networks in the country. State dollars make our nationally recognized model work. Without state and federal funds, victims will not have access to safety, crisis support and the resources needed to escape a violent relationship.
We hope you will consider contacting your legislator to ask them to support victims of domestic violence by not cutting emergency victim services.
Click here to find the contact information for your legislators. Please call or email today! Remind legislators all Iowans deserve dignity and safety and that they must prioritize funding these critical services.
Call or email your area legislator and tell them:
“Hi, I’m ________________ from ________________. I want you to know how strongly I believe state funding must be maintained for sexual assault and domestic violence programs. Without state funding, services to rural communities will almost cease to exist, urban families will have few resources to escape. This will impact approximately 800 families in Southeast Iowa seeking safety from brutal crimes.”
If your legislator is surprised when you say there is a proposed $3 million cut…just say, “yes, I am stunned too, and I want you to know why this would be devastating…”
Domestic violence and sexual assault affect so many people – someone you love, your friend or maybe a colleague. Our legislators must know these are real people and real consequences. If you have a personal story, and you are comfortable sharing, it may help our legislators understand the gravity of this situation.
It’s super easy, just put your hometown address in the search box, click search and your legislators names will come up. Then just click their name for contact information.
The Bottom Line is Support Works!
This funding is critical: Since the introduction of federal funding, the number of intimate partner homicides has DECREASED by 34% for women and 57% for men. In Iowa, from 1995-2010 we averaged 14 intimate partner homicides a year. In the past five years Iowa is averaging 8 – that’s a 43% DECREASE in Iowa.