For Immediate Release: March 7, 2014
Contact for GCASAFV: Cynthia Cabot, 671.479.2277; email@example.com
Contact for NNEDV: Monica McLaughlin, 202.543.5566; firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONWIDE SURVEY REVEALS URGENT NEED FOR INCREASED FUNDING FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICE PROVIDERS
Nearly 66,000 Domestic Violence Victims Helped On a Single Day, But
Almost 10,000 Requests for Help Go Unanswered
[HAGÅTÑA, GUAM] – March 7, 2014 –
Today, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) announced that on September 17, 2013, a randomly selected day, they collected data from 1,649 domestic violence programs across the United States and its territories, including Guam.
This report, “Domestic Violence Counts 2013: A 24-hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services,” revealed that in a single 24-hour period more than 66,000 victims of domestic violence received help and support from service organizations in the United States, yet due to a lack of adequate resources 10,000 more could not received the needed assistance. On that same day two women were murdered by their abusive intimate partners.
In Guam, twenty-six victims of domestic violence and their children received life-saving services from local domestic violence organizations but two could not be helped because local programs here in Guam didn’t have sufficient resources. Of these twenty-six victims three were served in shelters, fourteen were served in transitional housing, and nine non-residential were served. Domestic violence victim advocates with Victim Advocates Reaching Out (VARO) answered thirteen emergency hotline calls. At the same time, two requests for services went unmet, largely due to lack of funding.
“On this day, 9 adults breathed a sigh of relief as they tucked 8 children into bed in a safe shelter or housing program in Guam,” said Cynthia Cabot, Executive Director of the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence. “Unfortunately, twice, on that same day, a local program had to turn away a victim from shelter, housing, or counseling services due to funding cuts and limited resources.”
The report, “Domestic Violence Counts 2013: A 24-hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services,” examined a random day, September 17, 2013, and collected information from 1649 domestic violence programs throughout the United States from midnight to midnight on that day. It identifies needs that were met and unmet on that day and provides a snapshot of how budget cuts are affecting the staffing and resources of these organizations.
Key findings for Guam include this 24-hour data from September 17, 2013:
· 26 domestic violence victims and their children received services in just one day
· 13 calls to domestic violence hotlines were answered.
· 1 individual was educated on domestic violence during trainings conducted by local programs.
· 2 requests from domestic violence victims were turned down because programs did not have the resources to provide them, including requests for emergency shelter, housing, transportation, childcare and legal representation.
· The majority of unmet requests were from victims who had chosen to flee their abusers, and were seeking safe emergency or transitional housing.
Key findings from September 17, 2013 include:
· 66,581 domestic violence victims and their children received services.
· More than 20,000 calls to domestic violence hotlines were answered, an average of more than 14 calls every minute.
· More than 23,000 individuals were educated on domestic violence during trainings conducted by local programs.
· Nearly 10,000 requests from domestic violence victims (9,641) were turned down because programs did not have the resources to provide them, including requests for emergency shelter, housing, transportation, childcare and legal representation.
· The majority of unmet requests (60%) were from victims who had chosen to flee their abusers, and were seeking safe emergency or transitional housing.
“Every day in this country, victims of domestic violence are bravely reaching out for help, and it’s essential that they have somewhere safe to go,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the NNEDV. “We have made so much progress toward ending violence and giving survivors avenues for safety. But continued program cuts jeopardize that progress and jeopardize the lives of victims.”
When nationwide program providers were asked what most likely happens when services are not available, 60% said the most likely outcome was that victims returned to their abusers, 27% said the victims become homeless, and 11% said that victims end up living in their cars.
The research also shows initial impacts of the new guidelines in the Affordable Care Act, which require healthcare providers to screen patients for domestic violence and refer victims to services. Data collected for this study shows that since these guidelines have been in effect, there has been an 18.5% increase in referrals received nationwide by domestic violence programs; a number that experts predict will only increase as the ACA takes full effect.
The number of unmet needs is related to the financial resources of these programs. In 2013, 1,696 staff positions were cut due to funding reductions, an average of 1.2 staff per program. Of the staff that were cut in 2013, 70 percent were direct service positions, such as case managers, advocates, shelter staff, and child advocates.
“Here on Guam we are grateful that 100 percent of our four identified domestic violence programs participated in the 2013 National Census of Domestic Violence Services,” said Cythia Cabot, Executive Director of the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence. “We do not always know what happens when a survivor does not receive the services they seek, but we do know that we do not want these survivors to be forced to return to their abuser or resort to homelessness.”
Download the full “Domestic Violence Counts 2013” census report at www.nnedv.org/census.
Established in 2006, the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence (GCASAFV) is a local tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that aims to address sexual assault and family violence on Guam. GCASAFV’s mission is to identify and address the community needs, provide access to services, and promote cultural sensitivity for all victims of sexual assault and family violence by raising community awareness and building the capacity of member service providers through education, outreach and training. Membership is comprised of service providers, government allies, and community partners. To learn more about GCASAFV please visit www.guamcoalition.org.
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), a 501(c)(3) social change organization, is dedicated to creating a social, political and economic environment in which domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking no longer exist. As the leading voice for domestic violence victims and their allies, NNEDV members include all 56 of the state and territorial coalitions against domestic violence, including over 2,000 local programs. NNEDV has been a premiere national organization advancing the movement against domestic violence for almost 25 years, having led efforts among domestic violence advocates and survivors in urging Congress to pass the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994. To learn more about NNEDV, please visit www.nnedv.org.
About the Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2013, Avon global philanthropy, led by the Avon Foundation, has donated more than $957 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses on funding breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Visit www.avonfoundation.org for more information.