Keep Domestic Violence Shelters Open

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Target: Julián Castro, US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Goal: Restore lost funds for domestic violence shelters.

When escaping violence, victims of abuse often depend on their local domestic violence programs for help finding shelter, legal help, counseling, and other services. Now, because of funding cuts made by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), domestic violence advocacy programs are under threat of closure. Because of these crucial funding losses, some programs may have to shut down, and survivors of family violence will be facing even more difficulty finding shelter and other services.

HUD states that federal funding has been redistributed to benefit the homeless population, and that transitional housing like domestic violence shelters do not qualify for these funds. Domestic violence shelters, however, cater to many who are at risk of becoming homeless — those who have nowhere else to go aside from their abuser’s home, those who have become financially insecure as a result of abuse, or those who became isolated from their support system by their abuser. Sadly, this reallocation of funds away from domestic violence programs could result in increased homelessness among these groups.

Domestic violence is an epidemic problem in the United States, with 20 people abused by an intimate partner every minute. It is crucial that the many people experiencing this type of violence have options for services that will best help their particular situation. It is equally necessary that programs are well-equipped to provide these services. Ask that United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro consider reallocating funding to domestic violence programs where it is sorely needed.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Castro,

Survivors of domestic violence face great difficulty in removing themselves from their abusers. They are often faced with complicated legal issues, a loss of income or financial security, separation from their homes and loved ones, and fear that their abusers may find them. Domestic violence advocacy programs are crucial for survivors who are attempting to start new lives free of violence.

We understand that funding has been reallocated to benefit the chronically homeless. However, we also know that many who will be turned away from domestic violence shelters as a result of this funding change are at great risk of homelessness themselves. Many who seek these services have nowhere else to go, or have become destitute as a result of abuse, or were isolated from their support system by their abuser and therefore have nowhere to turn. We, the undersigned, ask that you reallocate funding to domestic violence programs, where it is desperately needed.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Slick-o-bot

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