One of the unity principles in the Women’s March is ending violence. Its first line states, women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of all forms of violence against our bodies.
Last week the Trump administration proposed a budget that includes funding cuts of all 25 grant programs managed by the Office on Violence Against Women, housed in the Department of Justice. The grants, established by 1994’s Violence Against Women Act, go to organizations working to prevent domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking and elder abuse. Some grants are earmarked for transitional housing assistance, legal aid and training to help civil and criminal justice systems better respond to sexual and domestic violence. Some grants also protect child victims, residents of tribal lands, women with disabilities, children who’ve witnessed the abuse of a parent and rural women.
These grants are small but crucial in a system that’s built to cast doubt on victims of intimate partner violence. Without these programs, our communities will be significantly less able to help women who’ve been victimized rebuild their lives and hold their perpetrators accountable.
Supporter or not of the Women’s March, do urge our state representatives to support VAWA.
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Executive Director, North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence