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Governor Eliminates Funding to Domestic Violence Programs
Date:7/30/2009

POMONA, Calif., July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, Governor Schwarzenegger line-item vetoed the Department of Public Health's Domestic Violence Program, which provides $20.4 million for 94 domestic violence shelters and centers.

Services provided by these agencies include emergency shelter, transitional housing, legal advocacy, assistance with restraining orders, counseling and other vital support services.

Last week the Legislature approved a 20% reduction to the program but the Assembly left a deficit that the Governor filled with additional cuts. Shelters receiving money through this program will, on average, lose 30% of their budgets, and it is already clear that many programs will be forced to close.

"State funding to domestic violence programs has been proven to save lives, and also millions of dollars in health care, law enforcement and other social costs," Shabazz, Executive Director of The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV). "It is fiscally irresponsible to propose such cuts."

The elimination of the Department of Maternal and Children's Services leaves a $200,000 hole in House of Ruth's budget, decreasing funding for the Children's Program, Prevention Programs and operating costs for the shelter. House of Ruth had prepared for significant budget cuts, but is concerned that further decreases are likely as other funding sources react to their own budget reductions.

"Domestic violence shelters are often the only thing standing between victims and grave physical danger. California's communities cannot sustain their loss," says Sue Aebischer, Executive Director of House of Ruth. "Our programs provide safety and shelter, but our end goal is much broader: to break the cycle of violence. Domestic violence is intergenerational; the potential impact of these cuts on future generations is enormous."

When the resources do not exist for victims to receive domestic violence services, they are left with no choice but to return to their abusers. According to a national census of domestic violence services, in just one day 7,707 requests for services went unmet due to lack of resources.

House of Ruth and CPEDV urge California lawmakers to put victims and their children first, and say no to these devastating cuts. The Domestic Violence Program funds life-saving services for victims fleeing violence. This funding must be reinstated, or California communities will pay a price.

About House of Ruth

House of Ruth has provided violence services for residents of eastern Los Angeles and western San Bernardino counties since 1977. The mission for House of Ruth is to advocate for and assist women victimized by domestic violence and children exposed to violence in transforming their lives by providing culturally competent shelter, programs, opportunities and education; and to contribute to social change through intervention, education, prevention programs and community awareness.

For more information about House of Ruth's services, please telephone 909-623-4364, the crisis Hotline at 909-988-5559, or visit the website at www.houseofruthinc.org


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SOURCE House of Ruth
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