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13th Annual Domestic Violence Counts Report Shows Clear Need for Consistent Funding

June 11, 2019

Report shows that while nearly 75,000 victims of domestic violence received services on a single day, more than 9,000 requests were unmet because programs lacked the resources to help.

Washington, DC – The 13th annual Domestic Violence Counts Census conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) provides a snapshot of services provided across the country in a 24-hour period in 2018. The data – including the number of individuals who accessed services, the types of services they requested, and the number of unmet requests – show the critical need for local domestic violence programs and the gaps that leave victims at risk.

“The 13th annual Domestic Violence Counts Census makes it clear that advocates at local domestic violence programs save lives, increase awareness, and help us move closer to a world free from gender-based violence – and that is worth investing in,” said Cindy Southworth, Executive Vice President at NNEDV.

In a year that began with the longest government shutdown in history, and an as-yet unauthorized Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Domestic Violence Counts report highlights how domestic violence programs operate under a delicate balance. Many are vulnerable as a result of unreliable funding streams and often have to limit services or sometimes even close their doors.

The 13th annual Domestic Violence Counts Census found:

  • 74,823 adult and child victims of domestic violence were served in one day, including:
  • 42,494 victims found refuge in emergency shelters, transitional housing, or other housing provided by local domestic violence programs.
  • 32,329 victims received non-residential assistance and services, including counseling, legal advocacy, children’s support groups, and more.
  • Victims made 9,183 requests for services – including emergency shelter, housing, transportation, childcare, legal representation, and more – that could not be provided because programs lacked the resources to meet victims’ needs.
    Learn more by reading the full report here, the National Summary here, or find your state’s or U.S. territory’s summary here.

“The data from this year’s Domestic Violence Counts Census is part of a larger story of the critical, often life-saving work that is happening daily around the country,” said Monica McLaughlin, Director of Policy at NNEDV. “The stories of survivors who are moving forward and rebuilding lives give voice to data that demonstrates a need for consistent, fully funded programs at the federal, state, and local level.”

Housing is central for stability – and having access to a safe home is often central to a survivor’s long-term success. Yet one of the greatest unmet needs reported is lack of housing, which puts victims at great risk.

An advocate in Missouri shared the devastating consequences of this unmet need, “A pregnant survivor had escaped to an abandoned house but her abuser found her and assaulted her. Local hotels were at full capacity. Our other office in the next county was unable to help because all of those hotels were booked as well.”