‘Time Is Now:' YWCA Leaders Say Domestic Violence Resources Could Be In Jeopardy

Domestic Violence resources could be in jeopardy due to federal budget cuts. This year, federal money from the Victims of Crime Act, or VOCA, faces a $700 million cut. 

Tuesday, April 2nd 2024, 10:54 pm

By: News 9, Jordan Fremstad


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Domestic Violence resources could be in jeopardy due to federal budget cuts. 

This year, federal money from the Victims of Crime Act, or VOCA, faces a $700 million cut. 

The Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board recommended that the state provide an extra $16.1 million to help pay for these essential services. The YWCA vice president of operations, Brandon Pasley, said that programs won’t survive without extra funding. He said action is critical. 

Domestic violence plagues a state where advocates search for answers. Pasley is one of those people. “Oklahoma is always high on the list,” Pasley said. “It needs a community solution.” 

The problem gets the attention of legislators. Pasley pointed to a binder filled with bills introduced at the capitol to address this public safety issue. Domestic violence impacts more individuals than people think. Pasley said six percent of people killed during a domestic violence incident are good Samaritans and bystanders. “We have to report on that now too,” he said. “That is not a category that we’ve always had. Not one we wanted to add.” 

Federal funding for survivor support programs has been cut by 40 percent. Pasley said funding for organizations has been an issue for decades. Some programs can barely afford office supplies.  “Imagine not getting a raise for 50 years,” Pasley said. “They literally didn’t have pens.” 

Without funding, Pasley said rural communities will feel the impacts first. “We don’t have time to wait anymore,” Pasley said. “There won’t be anybody to pick up that phone.” 

Shelters, resource centers, and support hotlines are often the difference between life and death. “Programs across the state will close their doors,” Pasley said. “That is the lifeline for victims and survivors.” 

He said communities can’t remedy domestic violence if there’s no money to pay for the treatment. “The government has a responsibility to fund that,” Pasley said. “The time is now.” 

Pasley said his organization has a great relationship with state House and Senate Leadership. Pasley said he is hopeful lawmakers will help provide extra funding for these essential organizations. 

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation and needs help, click here: https://www.thehotline.org/ or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233).

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