Today, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence released the following statement:
“Many of you may have seen the article in the Hill today indicating the Trump budget will call for dramatic cuts including eliminating VAWA grants: “At the Department of Justice, the blueprint calls for eliminating the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Violence Against Women Grants and the Legal Services Corporation and for reducing funding for its Civil Rights and its Environment and Natural Resources divisions.”
This is obviously cause for real concern and a situation we are taking very seriously. At the outset, here are some important things to remember:
1. The President’s budget is a recommendation and will not be out until later this spring.
2. Congress crafts the budget and is under no obligation to follow the President’s recommendations. For example, President Obama’s budgets recommended the elimination of the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, and Congress always maintained or increased funding.
3. We have broad and bipartisan support for our programs in Congress.
What we are doing now: Working together closely with the National Task Force and all of our allies, preparing updated advocacy materials including results from our funding survey, and planning meetings right away with key appropriations staff members.”
Along with the NAESV and other national partners, OAESV is calling on all those who provide services to sexual assault survivors to contact Ohio’s Senators and Representatives to Congress, urging them to preserve the 25 critical grant programs made possible by the Violence Against Women Act, which includes RPE. Without this funding, millions of survivors of sexual violence would not have access to the support services they deserve, the ability of law enforcement to effectively respond to survivors would be significantly impacted, and primary prevention programming in many communities would end.
We must not panic, but we must not be complacent. While we are hopeful that the broad bipartisan support for VAWA in Congress will ensure that VAWA funding remains intact, we must continue to advocate for this critical Act and the funding it provides in our communities. Please share with your Senators and Representatives how VAWA funding has made a difference in your program and your community.
Please direct any questions to Rosa Beltré at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-658-1381.