Today the hotline’s president and acting CEO, Katie Ray-Jones, testified in front of the House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee in Washington, DC. In her testimony, she asked for full funding of domestic violence programs in order to fill crucial needs for victims across the nation. We wanted to share a few key points of her submitted testimony here on the hotline blog:
- Every day, [the hotline’s] highly trained advocates answer nearly 700 calls, texts or chats from those affected by domestic and dating violence. We know that many victims are one call, text or chat away from serious, if not deadly, violence.
- Ninety-five percent of those contacting us disclosed verbal and emotional abuse, while 70 percent reported physical abuse.
- Over 20,000 victims disclosed instances of economic abuse, in which their partner forcibly took control or manipulated their finances in order to wield power over them.
- Over 5,000 victims disclosed instances of child abuse.
- Nearly 5,000 victims were struggling with issues related to immigration.
- The downtrend in the economy has impacted both victims and the local programs that serve them. A third of the victim callers surveyed had experienced a change in their financial situation in the previous year; 98% of those experienced an intensification of abuse during that same period.
- The current economic climate has created a severe budget crisis for programs that provide safety and support for victims across the country. A 2013 survey of rape crisis centers by the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence found that over one-third of programs have a waiting list for services such as counseling and support groups, while over half had to lay off staff.
- Victims of domestic violence have fewer places to turn, also. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s 2013 Domestic Violence Counts annual census, in just one day last year, while more than 66,000 victims of domestic violence received services, over 9,640 requests for services went unmet, due to a lack of funding and resources.
- We work in partnership with local, state, territorial and tribal programs. If any of us closes or reduces services because of funding shortfalls, everyone is impacted.
- We ask today for increased funding for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act programs.
You can view her full testimony in front of the subcommittee below: