Where's Your Money Being Spent?
In this tough economic recession, states have to decide how to balance budgets and where to cut costs. Facing California's largest budget deficit ever, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to cut unnecessary state expenses, or at least expenses that haven't proved the money was making a difference.
A report issued by RADAR, "Are Abuse Shelters Helping the True Victims of Domestic Violence?"1, reveals some disturbing facts about the country's 1,600 abuse shelters. Based on research studies, reviews of shelter websites, and interviews with former shelter residents and staff, the report reveals that only one in 10 persons are in domestic violence shelters because of they are victims of battering.
Gov. Schwarzenegger apparently felt politically safe cutting all state funding to domestic violence programs in the state of California. The federal government openly admits that the shelters it funds give no data at all on what they do, how they do it, who they provide services to, what those services are, who they reject, etc. They also have established no criteria by which to judge whether they actually reduced domestic violence or not.2,3
Now don't believe for one minute that these shelters will be closing down anytime soon. Even with state funding dropped, domestic violence shelters receive federal and private funding. The domestic violence industry received a 325 million dollar boost to its billion dollar a year federal subsidy as part of last February's stimulus bill.
Robert Franklin said it best, "In short, the federal government is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars each year into a vast system of shelters, whose functioning it knows not the first thing about. That would be outrageous in any other industry, but with domestic violence, it's business as usual."4
Contact Gov. Schwarzenegger, or even your own governor, and tell them the days of wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars are over. Demand a full accounting of money given to domestic violence shelters before any more is appropriated out of your state's budget. Gov. Schwarzenegger can be reached through the webpage at http://gov.ca.gov/interact#email.
Don't be afraid to face your opposition on this, Gov. Schwarzenegger wasn't.
Date of RADAR Release: August 11, 2009
R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://www.mediaradar.org