RICHMOND, VIRGINIA--The budget passed by Virginia’s General Assembly includes the largest increase ever awarded in new funding for domestic violence victim services. Victim advocates worked tirelessly this session to educate legislators about an $18 million funding gap brought about by 5 years of funding cuts and increased demand for services. The Action Alliance applauds Virginia legislators for listening to victim advocates and working to close those gaps.
The new budget provides an additional $1 million in domestic violence services in 2015; and $2.1 million in 2016. The additional $3.1 million included in the state budget will enable Virginia’s local domestic violence agencies to recover from recent cuts in funding and restore lost services. More victims of domestic violence will get the services they need when they make the courageous call to work toward building a violence-free future for themselves and their children.
“We cheer our legislators for prioritizing their commitments to increase funding for domestic violence crisis services. We are disappointed that, at this time, the proposed increase in funding for sexual assault victim services was not able to preserved in this budget. The Action Alliance remains committed to securing the funding needed for BOTH sexual and domestic violence victim services until we close the gap for both sexual and domestic violence funding, “ remarked Kristi VanAudenhove, Action Alliance Executive Director.
The Action Alliance currently sits on the Crime Commission’s “Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Funding Study Work Group” (HB 885), which is working to determine how Virginia’s sexual and domestic violence funding may be streamlined to increase efficiency and cost savings. “Creating a consolidated funding stream will ease administrative burdens in crisis programs and in funding agencies, making more funding available for crisis services. We look forward to working with the Crime Commission and with the General Assembly members in the upcoming year to make that possible”, concluded Ms.VanAudenhove.
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