By Laurin Pause
CRC Executive Director
A 100 percent state funding cut seriously endangers the lives of abused women and children who will have no place to hide.
Carol's House, a primary Domestic Violence Emergency Shelter in San Diego North County, is among the 94 shelter programs statewide slated to lose an unprecedented 100 percent of state funding. On July 28, 2009, the Governor exercised his line-item veto authority to completely eliminate Domestic Violence Shelter funding from the California budget.
The unprecedented cuts to Domestic Violence shelter funding went far beyond the estimated 20-30 percent cuts initially anticipated. Historically, because of the real threat of harm or death in domestic violence cases, domestic violence funding has been protected from severe or complete budget cuts.
As the budget now stands, state funding for domestic violence programs has been completely eliminated.
"We can only hope against hope that there will be a reversal or concession of some kind since lives of women and children are at stake," says Laurin Pause, executive director of CRC. "The budget crisis is serious, and we were prepared for cuts, but not complete elimination of a safety program. This is unprecedented."
CRC runs Carol's House, a 24-bed emergency shelter program and attached comprehensive services. CRC receives shelter funding from other sources, but nearly 50 percent of the Carol's House budget has been funded for years by the state. The unexpected elimination of state funding altogether will have a severe impact on Carol's House, and only private support will save it.
"Carol's House is always a full house, and we will have to resort to turning away victims who literally might lose their lives if they don't find safe refuge," explains Pause. "A 100 percent state funding cut seriously endangers the lives of abused women and children who will have no place to hide and no chance to move on to safe, healthy new lives."
CRC joins the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV) in urging voters to call on their legislators to reinstate the Domestic Violence line item and put victims and children first.