DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and organizations across the country and here in the Miami Valley are doing their part to raise awareness.
But they are also sounding the alarm about possible funding cuts that could make their mission even more difficult.
Many people know that domestic violence is a serious issue, but now, local and national organizations that support domestic violence victims are facing the potential of a major cut in federal funds.
A 40-45% cut is projected for next October in ‘The Victims of Crime Act Fund’ and VOCA grants, after Congress announced plans to cut the 2024-25 Federal Budget for the national program — from the current $1.9 billion down to just $1.2 billion.
Barbara Ward, YWCA Director of Communications, spoke about the funding issue.
“We’ve seen a decline over the years, especially with VOCA and the anticipated 40% cut coming up. This directly affects how we’re able to provide services,” Ward said.
If funding changes occur, it would mean cuts across the board, reducing the overall programs and services available for domestic violence victims, a need that’s ever growing according at the Dayton YWCA.
“In 2022. We received over 6000 calls. We are serving 30 to 40 children in shelter at any given time, and so the need is there and we want to be a support to those who may be navigating this,” Ward said.
This year the Dayton YWCA is honoring victims for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Last week, they held their ‘Voices Against Violence’ breakfast, sharing victims stories and moving forward.
They will be educating people on domestic violence happening though technology with a web discussion next Monday, Oct. 16, on Facebook.
“We have children that have nightmares constantly when they come here, or are now afraid to talk and become comfortable with individuals because of the traumatic home experiences that they’ve had,” Asiaonna Eley, YWCA Manager of Children’s Programs, said. “Support any organizations like ourselves that are helping women who are battling domestic violence. It’s very important that we seek out different resources in the community.”
To learn more about how you can help protect funding and support the Dayton YWCA, click here.