November 12, 2013
New Report Details Real Impact of Cuts to Discretionary Programs
Washington, DC—Even before the Budget Control Act of 2011, thousands of programs that rely on non-defense discretionary (NDD) federal funding, including those that serve victims of domestic violence, had their budgets sharply cut. A new report released today by NDD United shows how millions of Americans are being hurt in the process.
“These continued cuts mean that thousands of victims fleeing violence are not able to find emergency shelter, crisis intervention, and other critical services they need to escape and heal,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic violence (NNEDV). “These are lifesaving services for crime victims who are already in a terrible situation—and there aren’t alternatives.”
The report, “Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Have Made Us Sicker, Poorer, and Less Safe,” details sector by sector, from safety to public health to education to workforce development, the stories of those who have been impacted most by Washington’s failure to protect the programs that keep us healthy, safe, educated and much more. The report is authored by NDD United, an alliance of more than 3,200 national, state, and local organizations – including NNEDV– working to stop needless cuts to core government functions.
Domestic violence programs, along with other NDD programs upon which victims often rely to rebuild their lives after crisis, have been cut dramatically and disproportionately in recent years as lawmakers endeavor to reduce the deficit without raising additional revenues. This has been done despite expert agreement that these programs do not contribute to our nation’s mid- and longer-term debt problem. Sequestration locks in these devastating cuts for the next eight years.
At the same time that funding is decreasing, domestic violence programs across the country are reporting an increase in the demand for their help, which creates an unconscionable gap in available services. On just one day in 2012, domestic violence programs nationwide provided services to 64,324 victims and their children. But on that same day, over 10,470 requests for services went unmet due to a lack of funding and resources. It is estimated that, because of sequestration, at least 148,090 additional victims of violence will not be able to access services each year.
The Budget Control Act established caps restricting how much funding Congress could allocate to discretionary programs each year over the next decade. As a result, by 2023, these caps will cut $1.6 trillion from defense discretionary and non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs combined, relative to the inflation-adjusted 2010 funding levels. Under sequestration, these programs—including both defense and nondefense programs—face more than $700 billion in cuts over the next eight years. In two years, NDD spending will equal a smaller percentage of our economy than ever before (based on data back to 1962)—if lawmakers do not act to replace sequestration with a more meaningful and comprehensive deficit reduction strategy.
Even though Congress and the White House came to agreement on a budget deal earlier this month, the agreement conspicuously failed to address sequestration and the funding level for fiscal year 2014.
“Given the dangerous and potentially lethal nature of domestic violence, we cannot afford to ignore victims’ needs – and we cannot allow this deadly sequestration to continue,” said Gandy. “Congress and the Budget Conference Committee must act now to replace the sequester with a responsible and balanced plan that meets the needs of domestic violence victims, and all of those who are most vulnerable in our communities.”
“Faces of Austerity” is available online at www.nddunited.org.
October 29, 2013
NNEDV is launching an online book club on www.Goodreads.com, the world’s largest website for readers and book recommendations. Reader with a Cause is the go-to book club for readers who believe in equality and dream of a world where violence against women doesn’t exist.
October 17, 2013
Last week, Facebook announced that they were removing the “Who Can Look Up My Timeline By Name” option for their users. Although we are disappointed that the option to be searched by name has been removed, the safest course for survivors and advocates is to educate themselves about how they can be found on Facebook. Check out the full story on the Tech Safety blog.
October 15, 2013
Over the past 3 months, the WomensLaw project has been hard at work adding information to WomensLaw.org. Check out the latest additions:
• We added new information about housing protections in Connecticut for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. See our CT Housing Laws section for more information.
• We are thrilled to announce that we have created new Crimes pages for all states and territories. You can now go to your state's Crimes page to read the definitions of a selection of crimes in your state that the abuser may have committed and you can find links to victim compensation programs in each state.
October 4, 2013
Ensuring that victims of domestic violence have access to safe, affordable housing is a priority for NNEDV, and we lead national efforts toward this goal. Our work secured expanded landmark housing protection in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) renewal in March 2013. VAWA protects victims who live in a range of federally subsidized housing programs from evictions based on the actions of their abusers and has created pathways for transferring to safer housing.
To turn the letter of the law into a reality for victims, NNEDV is engaged in ongoing work with key stakeholders and the Administration. This “implementation” work is a continual effort that is essential in shaping the law’s impact on survivors in danger. Recently, we were invited to participate, as part of a select group of invitees, in listening sessions with White House officials and other federal officials charged with implementing VAWA’s housing protections. NNEDV will continue to lead the implementation strategy to ensure that every survivor in federally subsidized housing can stay safely housed.