Washington Domestic Violence Advocacy programs could face budget cuts

SPOKANE, Wash. — Programs across Washington helping domestic abuse survivors have been severely underfunded in the last few years, and now the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence says a 23 percent budget cut in state funding could go into effect in July.

Now, domestic violence centers across the state, including the Inland Northwest, are hoping local lawmakers will step in to help.

Domestic violence support facilities, like the YWCA, get a majority of their funding from federal, state, and local sources. The organization’s Chief Executive Officer says this has her concerned for the future.

“They’re services that cannot go away,” says Jeanette Hauck, Chief Executive Officer for the YWCA of Spokane.

The YWCA  provides domestic violence support services, safe shelter for people fleeing violence from their partners, community outreach and so much more. Hauck says she’s worried not just for the YWCA, but other domestic violence services in the area as well.

“It’s not only our impact here at the YWCA, but when you make this change at the state level, you’re going to impact Lutheran Community Services, Northwest Justice Project, and a number of organizations in our community,” Hauck said. “The impact will be significant.”

The YWCA receives 80 percent of all funding from federal, state and local sources. Hauck says the impact of these cuts for them could lead to a loss of almost $300,000.

“It will have a significant negative impact on our programming if we were unable to in the next couple of years, find ways to replace that funding, or hopefully the state will be successful in funding those dollars,” Hauck said.

Those dollars will help someone fleeing domestic violence seek immediate help.

“So when someone who is fleeing domestic violence comes to the YWCA Spokane, they need services in the moment, and they need someone who can help them find shelter,” Hauck said.

Now, the YWCA and many other domestic violence services are calling on lawmakers, for their help.

READ: Parents address concerns with staff at Central Valley safety information night