Mar 072014
 

For Immediate Release:  March 7, 2014

Contact for SCCADVASA: Interim Executive Director, Colleen Campbell Bozard, 803-256-2900mailto:executivedirector@sccadvasa.org

Contact for NNEDV:  Monica McLaughlin, 202-543-5566; mmclaughlin@nnedv.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

 COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – March 7, 2014 – Yesterday, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) released a new research report that found, 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 nearly 10,000 more who needed assistance could not be helped due to a lack of adequate resources.

In South Carolina, 475 victims received services in that 24-hour period, but 16 could not be helped because local programs here in South Carolina didn’t have sufficient resources.

“Domestic violence is still not a priority in South Carolina,” says SCCADVASA Interim Executive Director, Colleen Campbell Bozard. “This was clearly evidenced by the recent publication by the Violence Policy Center that ranked South Carolina #1 in the nation for women who are killed by men, more than double the national average.  South Carolina has been ranked in the top ten for ten years and has ranked #1 for a total of three years.”

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 South Carolina include this 24-hour data from September 17, 2013:

  •  135 calls to domestic violence hotlines were answered
  • 131 individuals were educated on domestic violence during trainings conducted by local programs
  • 16 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
  •  Across South Carolina, 13 staff positions were eliminated in the past year and most of these positions were direct services, such as shelter or legal advocates, so there were fewer advocates to answer calls for help.

“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.”

“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.

 “We know that to be successful, it takes a full community response to alter the growing problem of domestic violence. Education, outreach and training using promising programs in the US as examples for the unique and sometimes complicated crime of domestic violence is critical. SC needs to provide meaningful resources to help victims, not excuses and cut programs,” said SCCADVASA Interim Executive Director Colleen Campbell Bozard.

Download the full “Domestic Violence Counts 2013” census report at www.nnedv.org/census

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About SCCADVASA

The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA), is a statewide coalition made up of the 23 domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy programs in South Carolina. Since 1981, SCCADVASA has been a leader in representing the critical needs of survivors and their families. The mission of SCCADVASA is to end domestic violence and sexual assault in South Carolina by influencing public policy, advocating for social change and building capacity of member programs, organizations and communities across the state. To learn more about SCCADVASA, please visit www.sccadvasa.org.

  About NNEDV

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.

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 Posted by on March 7, 2014 Blog, Domestic Violence

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