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I recently had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to speak to our Senators and Members of Congress about the impact of sequestration. We discussed the current, future, and potential impact of sequestration on domestic violence programs’ ability to adequately and safely meet the ever-increasing demands of victims seeking--and desperately needing--comprehensive services. 
 
While many might think that a six percent across the board cut in federal funding would be the fairest way to implement sequestration, this approach did not give federal agencies the ability to manage the cuts to preserve funding to services that are critical to the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable families.  We understand that the current economy is challenging and requires tough decisions.  However, I have heard political leaders from both sides of the aisle repeatedly voice the belief that the core purpose of government is to establish, implement, and fund programs and services that provide vital protection to its citizens.  
 
Yet Kentucky’s domestic violence programs – working to address the safety needs of the nearly 35,000 Kentuckians they serve each year – face incredible financial challenges that may jeopardize the ability of thousands of families to access services. Across the Commonwealth, programs have experienced reductions in local funding, six years of flat state funding, unsustainable financial demands caused by the state’s retirement crisis – and now sequestration. Failure to provide adequate support to these critical services means fewer families will be served, a trend we already are able to document. Programs have cut staffing and, tragically, this means a reduction in services to our already resource-deprived rural communities.
 
If recent funding trends continue, the ultimate result could be shelters closing their doors, potentially leaving entire regions of the state without access to domestic violence services.  Where will law enforcement take victims and their children? Who will hospitals call when a battered woman needs shelter? How will our court system respond to victim safety if there is nowhere to send families for safety planning, shelter, and comprehensive programs to help them move from crisis to self-sufficiency?  KDVA programs and services are as critical to the safety of citizens as law enforcement, fire departments, the military, and air traffic controllers. We are the frontline for thousands of families.   We are their safety net.
 
I hope you will raise your voice and join us in efforts to implore legislators to find common ground to support the most vulnerable families. Together, our voice is mightier. Let’s cut through the political bickering and begin to create a groundswell of support for the critical role our domestic violence programs play in creating safe, healthy communities.
 


KDVA pushes for increased funding during
meetings with Kentucky’s delegation in DC
 
KDVA representatives urged Kentucky’s congressional delegation to increase funding for life-saving domestic violence services and programs during visits in Washington DC earlier this month.
 
Board President Darlene Thomas and Assistant Director Mary O’Doherty met with Rep. John Yarmuth, who represents Louisville’s 3rd District, and Rep. Andy Barr, of central Kentucky’s 6th District.  Both congress members supported the VAWA reauthorization bill when Congress passed it in February.  Thomas and O'Doherty also met with an aide to Sen. Mitch McConnell and staffers from the state’s other four congressional districts.
 
The members of congress and their staffers heard that the need for services is increasing while programs are experiencing cuts in federal, state and local funding.  The visits were part of the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s Advocacy Day on June 5.
 
KDVA also advocated for background checks as a way to prevent domestic violence homicides and for comprehensive immigration reform as a way to help immigrant survivors. 
 
KDVA representatives delivered these messages about the most important funding sources for its member programs.
  • VAWA programs are at the heart of our nation’s response to domestic violence and must be fully funded.
  • VAWA’s STOP program supports coordinated community responses that help end domestic & sexual violence.
  • Release $1 billion from the VOCA fund to address the gap in available services and meet the needs of domestic violence victims.


Keep Summer Safe!
 
The Kentucky Domestic Violence Association has worked tirelessly for over 30 years to create awareness and help combat domestic violence in the Commonwealth.   Starting June 19th, 2013 and continuing through August 31st, 2013, our goal is to raise $4,500 through our 2nd Annual “Keep Summer Safe” campaign while also sharing the work that KDVA undertakes with our community partners and supporters.  You can also look for our public appreciation of donors' support in our September 2013 newsletter, which reaches approximately 5,000 people.  
 
A little about KDVA generally: KDVA coordinates an annual Violence Against Women conference, administers state and federal funds that go to Kentucky's fifteen domestic violence programs, provides training, maintains a Clearinghouse on domestic violence, responds to local, state, and national inquiries relating to domestic violence, advocates for state and federal legislative initiatives to increase protection to domestic violence victims and their dependent children, operates a Certification Program for all domestic violence program staff requiring 30 hours of classroom instruction, works with national domestic violence and victim's organizations, and provides legal assistance to domestic violence program and attorneys representing domestic violence victims. Look for highlights about some of the specific projects that KDVA operates throughout the summer.  We look forward to sharing with you a comprehensive view of KDVA's advocacy across the Commonwealth.
 
Thank you so much for considering making a financial gift to the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association and for taking the time to learn about us.  Your tax-deductible gift will allow our staff to continue to provide support to domestic violence programs and victims. Click  here to donate now.
 
KDVA Staff

 
Save this date!
 
Please mark your calendars NOW for our 15th Annual Ending Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Conference scheduled for December 9-13, 2013. We are excited about this year's conference and hope you will join us. 



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Donor Spotlight
KDVA thanks
Citi Foundation
for its recent support
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