The Impact of VOCA Cuts

Massive budget cuts leave California domestic violence survivors with few options.

Los Angeles Times Article written Sonja Sharp

A spot in an emergency shelter can be a critical escape route for victims of domestic and sexual violence.

But California has long had too few shelter beds — and without a $200-million infusion from the state, the options will soon dwindle even further.

Come July 1, thousands of existing shelter beds could disappear across the state.

It’s not just emergency shelters: Scores of rape crisis hotlines, child abuse centers and legal service providers across California are bracing for an unprecedented 44.7% cut this summer — almost $70 million this year alone — thanks to a dramatic falloff in the federal Victims of Crime Fund.

Because of the looming cuts, keeping a shelter bed open now means sacrificing an advocate for sexual assault survivors in the emergency room, axing the attorney who helps battered mothers file for an emergency restraining order or slashing the social worker who counsels an abused child.

“We respond 24/7 to three hospitals — how are we going to do that when we lose almost half our funding?” said Barbara Kappos, executive director at East Los Angeles Women’s Center. “It’s keeping me up at night.”

Read the full Los Angeles Times Article Here


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  • Alejandra Aguilar Avelino
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