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Elected officials, advocates, survivors rally on steps of Capitol to grow state domestic violence funds

Press release
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 5, 2017

Media Contact: Jessica Merrill, Communications & Development Manager: jessica@cpedv.org | Work: (916) 444-7163, x118 | Cell: (707) 330-6838

Elected officials, advocates, survivors rally on steps of Capitol to grow state domestic violence funds

SACRAMENTO — The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (the Partnership) yesterday convened coalition members, legislators and allies at a Capitol rally, calling on Governor Brown to fund proactive solutions to domestic violence and long-term survivor support in the state budget. California’s existing domestic violence funding covers emergency services, but includes no allocation for prevention or lasting support for survivors.

The Partnership seeks to fund services that:

  • better address families’ immediate and extended needs;
  • support family stability with more flexible housing assistance;
  • pursue the most effective accountability solutions which balance safety with genuine rehabilitation and healing;
  • and turn the tide on domestic violence and sexual assault with community-based prevention initiatives.

“Victims are telling us that they need more. The crisis intervention system we’ve built and financed over the last 40 years are absolutely critical in saving lives and addressing immediate safety needs. But the data shows that’s only half the picture, and putting a bandage on these emergencies is only the beginning. We know that for many of these victims, this is one step in a long process of healing and recovery,” said Kathy Moore, Executive Director of the Partnership.

California Office of Emergency Services data shows that between FY 2010-11 and 2015-16, the number of domestic violence advocates responding to emergency room calls increased by 43%. During this same period, the state budget has remained flat. Domestic violence programs are requesting increased budget funding to protect survivors and Californians throughout their lives.

“If programs had the resources and flexibility we truly needed, shelters and drop-in centers across California would be able to expand services to meet the growing demands of the communities and families we serve. We need to be able to provide services beyond the basic with innovative and individualized solutions to address the complex issues survivors’ experience,” said Anastacia Snyder, Executive Director of Catalyst Domestic Violence Services.

Survivors’ struggles are often compounded by financial abuse and the high cost of living in California.

“It’s not an easy situation to get out of, and it’s not an easy situation to stay out of…I know when I was in my abusive situation, I returned back to my abuser several times. I had to, because he was the breadwinner. My resources were limited,” said Chivas Mays, a survivor of domestic violence and Housing Manager at Stand Up Placer.

A range of services exist to protect survivors, but advocates consistently cite lack of funding to meaningfully carry them out. At the rally, legislators discussed the need to reach more Californians in responding to and preventing domestic violence.

“We have a bold vision of a community with many entry points and services: mobile advocacy to ensure that victims get the help they need where it’s most convenient for them—whether that’s in their homes, at a doctor’s office, or in their neighborhoods. Prevention efforts that start when kids are first becoming aware of relationships and boundaries, as young as 5 or 6. More comprehensive safety planning for survivors who choose to remain in their homes or in contact with the person who has done them harm. All of these strategies come at a cost—a cost for which there is currently no funding,” said Beth Hassett, CEO and Executive Director of WEAVE.

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson stressed the need to invest in the well-being of Californians before domestic violence crises occur: “We are critically destined and required to do more to make sure that young people understand that it is not okay to batter, and it is not okay to be battered…for our young people in particular, we have an affirmative duty to educate students and protect their communities from abusive behavior.”

“I am committed to seeking additional funding for domestic violence programs across California. We must continue to promote economic justice for all survivors and continue to fight these uphill battles that many families may be facing daily. We must invest more money into lasting solutions if we truly wish to end domestic violence and help survivors’ access essential resources,” said Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, who joins Senator Jim Beall as a champion of this funding increase.

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About the Partnership

The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (the Partnership) is California’s recognized domestic violence coalition, representing over 1,000 survivors, advocates, organizations and allied individuals across the state. Working at the local, state and national levels for nearly 40 years, the Partnership has a long track record of successfully passing over 200 pieces of legislation on behalf of domestic violence victims and their children. The Partnership believes that by sharing expertise, advocates and legislators can end domestic violence. Through our public policy, communications and capacity building programs, we create system-wide change that supports survivors and invests in prevention. Every day we inspire, inform and connect all those concerned with this issue, because together we’re stronger. With offices in Sacramento, the Partnership’s member programs span the entire state. For more information, visit www.cpedv.org.

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