Protect Funding for Domestic Violence Programs!

Tuesday, February 28

The White House Office of Management & Budget is expected to submit a budget plan soon that will end or make significant cuts to several critical programs that help women who are victims of domestic violence.  These programs provide support through services for victims for a range of violent acts, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  Many Minnesota nonprofits receive funds from these programs, which means cuts could affect the safety of our communities and loved ones.
 
Now is the time to act.
Even if you trust your elected officials to make the right decision regarding women’s safety, they need to hear stories of how their vote will impact the constituents and communities they represent. Use your voice today to tell representatives that the Violence Against Women Act and the funds supporting these programs must remain in place because women’s rights are human rights.
 
Here’s what you can do NOW. 
  1. Learn about the impact Violence Against Women’s Act has on our community, and about how Minnesota benefits from funding from the Victims of Crime Act.
  2. Write or call your U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative. A sample letter is below.  For greatest impact, be sure to personalize this and include your name and address if you can.
  3. Sign the National Network to End Domestic Violence petition to help victims achieve justice and safety.
 
Thank you for helping victims of abuse to be safe.
_____________________________

Sample Letter

Dear Elected Official,
I am a constituent of yours, and I am writing to let you know that the safety of women, children and families is important to me. If the Office of Management & Budget submits a budget plan to eliminate the Violence Against Women’s Act grants, my community will lose public safety programs that help to prevent and address violence against women and other victims of abuse.
 
In Minnesota, one in three women are or will be victims of domestic, dating or sexual violence.  Our community needs to work together in partnership to end this violence.  The VAWA grants have helped Minnesota law enforcement, victim service providers, prosecutors, and courts to coordinate their efforts to reduce violence in our community.  Our state deserves these programs and can do more if VAWA grants remain in place.
 
It is also critical to ensure that 2017-2018 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding continues to be directed towards programming that supports victims of domestic and sexual violence.  
 
(Personalize your letter here. Share the importance of violence prevention or women’s safety programs and how it has directly impacted your life.)
 
Thank you.
____________________________
Here are some excerpts from the “2016 Biennial Report to Congress on the Effectiveness of VAWA Grant Programs” about how VAWA makes a difference in Minnesota.

Transitional Housing Program in Steele County

“Before funding existed, victims of domestic violence in Steele County were forced to endure a series of intolerable situations. They lived with relatives in crowded and often unsafe housing units. They moved to a poorer region with fewer options. In many cases, they continued to live with their abusers. The Transitional Housing funding has allowed us to provide victims and their children with the housing that they need. As a result, they have been able to live independently, and to become self-sufficient. They have transformed their lives by setting and achieving goals in employment, education, budgeting, savings, and permanent housing. In addition, they have set goals for their families, which has given them hope for their futures. They have modeled for their children what it means to live in safety, security, and dignity.”

Youth & Young Adults at Tubman

“The program also allows us to specifically respond to the way that youth and young adults communicate and use text, email, and phone as a way to access the program. We are also able to eliminate most transportation barriers and can travel to clients in order to provide services. We are able to support youth and young adults who are not interested in one-on-one therapy or support groups, yet still have interest in a certain level of community support by meeting with in-home counselors in our program.”

Young Men & Boys at Family Partnership

As far as we are aware, the Be More Campaign is the only ongoing domestic/dating violence prevention campaign in Minnesota engaging African American men, young men, and boys. our approach is holistic, and engages African American men, young men, and boys in understanding what healthy relationships really look like, and in uncovering and addressing the role that personal/familial and historical trauma play in perpetuating unhealthy and violent behaviors in men. this grant-funded initiative is making a difference in our community. for example, a number of the probation officers assigned to young men we have engaged have described how the young men’s attitudes are changing: they are becoming better listeners, less reactive, and more thoughtful. Probation officers see these as signs that our interventions are working.”

Lethality Assessment Program at Alexandra House

“Prior to the funding and the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) Alexandra House was successful in reaching domestic assault victims, referred by law enforcement, approximately 64% of the time. With the funding, lethality assessment procedures are in place in all 11 law enforcement jurisdictions. Now, under the LAP, high risk victims are being reached at a rate of 90%. From 2012-2014, 1,081 victims identified as high risk via the screening tool; currently 81% have or are currently receiving ongoing services.”

Ways to get involved

Host a Donation Drive for local Women’s Shelters

March 2nd 

9am @ MN Capitol Steps
Rally for Minnesota’s Children

March 7th 

Noon @ MN Capitol Steps
MCBW Day of Action

March 8th

6pm @Tubman East
MN Women’s Consortium Event

April 18th 

5pm @ Women’s Advocates
Tours of Women’s Advocates
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Upcoming Events

Sunday, April 30

April: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

  April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Women’s Advocates joins victim advocacy organizations and public safety agencies nationwide to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it.   More information will become available shortly.  If you have any questions about how you can help spread awareness, please call or […]

Wednesday, October 11

Courage to Fly: Luncheon benefit for Women’s Advocates

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