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News
1st Feb

2017

Bracing for Crushing Funding Cuts

 For Immediate Release

Date: February 1, 2017

Contact: Julia Kathary, Executive Director | 317-923-5750 | julia@coburnplace.org

Coburn Place Safe Haven among Domestic and Sexual Violence Charities across the United States Bracing for Crushing Funding Cuts

Indianapolis, IN – Not even a year after facing a significant loss due to a change in federal HUD funding, Coburn Place Safe Haven faces another uphill battle to ensuring local survivors of intimate partner violence have safety and housing options and support services.

On January 19th, The Hill reported that the new Trump Administration budget would propose drastic spending cuts by calling to eliminate a multitude of federal initiatives including the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW).  OVW implements the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and oversees grant programs.

To Coburn Place, the elimination of VAWA funds would translate to a loss of about $300,000 annually – about a third of its entire staff funding could be lost.  VAWA grants support, from small percentages to large portions, 18 of Coburn Place’s 26 employees.  Its program would be left gutted and struggling to provide the safety, self-sufficiency, well-being, and housing services it has provided for the last 20 years.  “Our team is our program.  They are our services and supports to the community” explains Julia Kathary, Coburn Place Executive Director.

“We didn’t lose any programs or services when we lost HUD funding last year, but only because of the support from the community and the City of Indianapolis’ Housing Trust Fund offering short-term ‘gap’ assistance,” she adds.  With support from local funders, Coburn Place focused on strategic plans for the future.   “We ended 2016 stronger than ever with clear strategies planned to take us to a higher level of mission impact and financial sustainability,” Kathary says.

But all of those strategic plans are on hold for now as Coburn Place and a multitude of other domestic and sexual violence support service charities across the US await the official release of the preliminary budget plan.  That should happen within the first 45 days of the new administration.

In the meantime, the Board and staff of Coburn Place are working with the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and other service provider partners to engage the community in educating legislators and the Trump Administration on what eliminating VAWA would mean to Indianapolis, the state of Indiana, and to communities across the country.

Our intent is to save VAWA in its entirety, not eliminate services and not force anyone to remain in or return to an abusive situation,” Kathary asserts.  “VAWA has done more than fund charitable programs and services.  It has provided funds to train law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges and put more police officers on the streets.  VAWA has created tougher criminal penalties for stalking and domestic and sexual violence.  It has afforded protection and services for women, men, and children.  We have seen a decrease in the rate of intimate partner violence and an increase in awareness since 1994 when VAWA was first enacted.  We can’t afford to go back in time.”

According to the most recent National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey Report (2010), 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be victimized by an intimate partner sometime in their lives.

Coburn Place is hoping to activate the community to support charities who are providing domestic and sexual violence support services by connecting with legislators to inform them of the devastating impact that eliminating the Violence Against Women Act and the Office of Violence Against Women would have on every community across the United States. Concerned community members can connect with legislators and ask them to not allow the budget to cut such important funding.  They can donate to victim service agencies and get engaged with local charities.   They can share, on social media, how and why they support Coburn Place at #WhyCPMattersToMe and visit www.coburnplace.org for more information on how to become involved.

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About Coburn Place: The vision of Coburn Place Safe Haven is of a world where every adult and child may live free from intimate partner violence, housed stably and safely, with adequate financial resources.  It aims to make that vision reality through its mission of empowering victims of intimate partner violence to live as survivors. Coburn Place is Indianapolis’ largest and most comprehensive provider of transitional housing, community-located housing, and support services to victims of domestic violence in the state of Indiana.  It is a nationally-recognized model program in breaking the cycles of domestic violence, poverty, and homelessness. The organization has provided life-changing support to more than 1,800 adults and children since 1996. For more information, visit www.coburnplace.org.


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