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California legislature defends FY 19 funding to prevent sexual and domestic violence; Advocates call on Governor Newsom to protect this investment, reduce reliance on the criminal legal system

Press release


Media Contacts:

  • Jessica Merrill, Communications Manager – California Partnership to End Domestic Violence: | (916) 444-7163, ext. 118
  • Carissa Gutierrez, Communications Manager – California Coalition Against Sexual Assault: | (916) 446-2520, ext. 316

California legislature defends FY 19 funding to prevent sexual and domestic violence; Advocates call on Governor Newsom to protect this investment, reduce reliance on the criminal legal system

SACRAMENTO — The legislature passed its budget bill yesterday, rejecting the Governor’s proposal to revert last year’s funding to prevent sexual and domestic violence. California Coalition Against Sexual Assault CEO Sandra Henriquez and California Partnership to End Domestic Violence Public Policy Manager Krista Niemczyk issued the following statement, urging Governor Newsom to follow the legislature’s lead:

“Thirty organizations were planning to implement prevention programs, and are now facing uncertainty in their budgets, staffing, and programming. We are grateful to the legislature for protecting these essential funds that were included in last year’s budget. During this unprecedented time, there are public shifts away from reactive strategies that cause an overreliance on law enforcement—and harm to communities of color. We are calling on Governor Newsom to ensure that sexual and domestic violence prevention is part of this strategy. Right now, there is fertile ground for reassessing our investments, and prioritizing proactive, community-based strategies. By protecting last year’s prevention funding, organizations can expand education on consent and respectful, supportive relationships—and further develop healthy masculinity and emotional health efforts among boys and young men (in addition to many other strategies). These are essential for lowering rates of mass incarceration, damage to our economy, and most importantly, pain and suffering. 

We acknowledge that COVID-19 has resulted in drastic cuts to California’s budget, leaving Governor Newsom and the legislature with no easy solutions. The federal government has a responsibility to provide relief to states whose safety nets are suffering—so in addition to our state-level advocacy, we are committed to maintaining our policy work in Washington, DC. 

The fact remains that sexual and domestic violence organizations are stretched beyond their resources. While we are grateful that the Governor’s office responded quickly in May to provide limited emergency funds to our Members, this does not address FY 2020-2021 needs as programs continue to support survivors throughout their paths to healing. We anticipate an increase in calls for support as more counties lift stay-at-home orders. Additionally, by leaving out future investments in prevention, we run the risk of interrupting progress in strengthening community resilience and lessening our state’s dependence on law enforcement. To significantly turn the tide on abusive behavior and enhance the well-being of millions of Californians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our policymakers must fund crisis services and prevention.”


CALCASA provides leadership, vision and resources to rape crisis centers, individuals and other entities committed to ending sexual violence. CALCASA is committed to ending sexual violence through a multifaceted approach of prevention, intervention, education, research, advocacy and public policy. Through ongoing communication and meetings with constituents, CALCASA relays the challenges and successes of local work to the statewide and national levels and best practices, evidence-based and practice-based programs at the state and national levels to local constituents. For more information, visit

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

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