Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 4, 2013

Area needs more domestic violence shelters

ASHLAND — Kentucky’s 15 domestic violence shelters reported housing 701 victims and their children during the one-day national domestic violence census on Sept. 12, 2012. Also, 233 crisis calls were answered at shelters across the commonwealth on the day of the census, and 619 individuals were served through outreach efforts.

 This marked the seventh year for the nationwide census. Sharon Currens, executive director of the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association (KDVA), said the report showed reduced funding for domestic violence services means that programs are unable to help victims with shelter, attain legal help or leave abusive partners.

 During that same 24-hour period in Kentucky, 84 requests went unmet, largely due to lack of funding, with 69 of those requests for shelter or housing.

 Nationally, 64,324 domestic violence victims and their children received help and safety from shelters and programs across the country on the day of the census. However, 10,471 individuals requested assistance, but did not receive it due to budgetary constraints at local shelters across the nation.

 Safe Harbor of Northeast Kentucky participated in the Sept. 12 census and serves domestic violence victims in the FIVCO ADD, including Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Elliott and Lawrence counties.

 “The annual census is a snapshot of one day, which reflects all the domestic violence programs in the United States,” said Ann Perkins, executive director of Safe Harbor. “The numbers provide the public with a view of the immensity of domestic violence across the country as well as the unmet needs of victims and their families across the country.”

 The economic conditions of the past few years have had a significant impact on domestic violence programs, said Kim Gandy, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV).

 “Cutting funds to domestic violence programs means that victims have fewer places to turn,” Gandy said. “It is impossible to hold offenders accountable and provide safe havens for victims with reduced funding for services and shelters. Budget cuts at the local state and federal level are creating increased danger to victims and their children.”

 The full report is available at www.nnedv.org/census.

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