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Category: News

March 8, 2014

iwd squareSince 1911, March 8 has been recognized as International Women’s Day, a day to mark the economic, political, and social achievements of women.

This year’s theme is “Inspiring Change;” we couldn’t think of a more appropriate theme for 2014. This year also marks the 20th and 30th anniversaries of landmark legislation supporting survivors of domestic violence: the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). These laws have inspired and created tremendous change across the United States – they have supported shelters and crisis lines, transitional housing and rural outreach programs, legal advocacy services and training for law enforcement and judges, and so much more.

VAWA and FVPSA have made great progress toward increasing victims’ safety, holding perpetrators accountable, and strengthening communities across the country. However, there is still much work to be done.

According to NNEDV's 2013 National Domestic Violence Counts Census Report, on a single day in 2013, more than 66,500 victims were served by domestic violence programs. In that same day, though, nearly 10,000 additional requests for help were denied due to a reduction in government funding, staff cuts, or loss of private funding sources. Across the United States, nearly 1,700 staff positions were cut – most of these positions were frontline advocates, first responders when victims seek help.

When programs are forced to make cuts in services and in staffing, victims are the ones who must bear the consequences. Without access to services, many victims are left with no alternatives other than returning to the abuser or becoming homeless – and no one should ever have to make that unconscionable choice.

It’s time to ensure that when victims flee abuse, they have access to safety and support. It’s time to provide full funding for VAWA and FVPSA so that they can fulfill their promise and their potential.

It’s time to inspire change.