Image from USA Today
At DC SAFE, the only organization in Washington, DC that provides immediate services to victims of domestic violence and their families, we have learned that much of its funding will be unavailable after Monday, October 7 due to the federal government shutdown. Serving over 5,000 victims last year and 120 already this month, DC citizens cannot afford for SAFE’s services to be cut.
“Domestic violence does not stop when services to help victims are cut,” said Natalia Otero, Executive Director of DC SAFE. “The furlough hits real people who are in desperate situations. We cannot help victims become survivors without funding.”
SAFE receives funding from the DC government, federal grants, and individual contributions. DC plans to continue its portion of funding as long as it can. Without the federal aid, SAFE will not be able to provide shelter, emergency lock changes at victims’ homes, staff our hotline, nor have court advocates to help victims obtain restraining orders to ensure their safety.
“On behalf of the victims and their families, we implore Congress to end the shutdown,” stated Otero. “This situation is unacceptable. SAFE must raise $19,000 within the week to keep its doors open.”
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month (October), President Obama stated in his proclamation, “… one in four women and one in seven men in the United States still suffer serious physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner at least once during their lifetimes. Every day, three women lose their lives in this country as a result of domestic violence. Millions of Americans live in daily, silent fear within their own homes.”
Contributions can be made online, here. Thank you so much for your support in this crucial time!