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Contact Your Legislators and Ask Them to Support Domestic & Sexual Violence Services!

We need your help to ensure that vital services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence are available to those who need them!

These important services are being cut back in many communities and are even in danger of closing in some areas of Oregon due to lack of funding.

– Yolanda House, a 10-room shelter run by the YWCA of Greater Portland, closed on March 1, reducing emergency beds in Portland from 100 to 78.

– Womenspace had to close its walk-in advocacy services at its Crisis and Support Center in Eugene.

– The Illinois Valley Safe House Alliance in Josephine County has had to cut its advocacy center from five days a week to three.

– Klamath Crisis Center, serving Klamath County, will have to eliminate half of their 16 emergency shelter beds on July 1, as well as cut walk-in support services, which help women find support groups and legal services.

**ACTION ITEM**

Contact your legislators by this Friday, May 24th, **especially if you live in Albany, Aloha, Coos Bay, North Douglas County, Gold Beach, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Lake Oswego, South Lane County, Portland, Roseburg, Salem, or Tualatin.**

Ask them to strengthen Oregon’s lifelines for domestic and sexual violence victims by supporting:

1. A $4 million increase to the Oregon Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (ODSVS) fund in HB 5018 in order to bolster access to lifesaving safety and support services.

2. HB 3194, which provides more judicial discretion for certain sentences and would result in savings that can be reinvested into the parts of our public safety infrastructure that need it most, including domestic and sexual violence services.

For more information about HB 5018 and HB 3194 check out our Legislative Priorities.

Here is some additional information you can share:

– Domestic and sexual violence services are lifelines to Oregonians. In 2011, Oregon domestic and sexual violence programs answered 175,295 calls for help, a 4% increase over 2010.  Tragically, in 2011, over 20,681 requests for shelter from violence in Oregon couldn’t be met because there weren’t enough resources available. The troubling economy has made this situation worse.

– While crime in general has decreased, domestic violence related murders have increased. Since 2009, more than 150 Oregonians (men, women, and children) have died as a result of domestic violence. Without vital domestic and sexual violence services, victims and their children will be in greater danger.

– Domestic violence and sexual assault services are a smart investment.  These services help adult and child victims find safety and rebuild their lives. They do more than respond to crime—they also help prevent future crime. Research indicates that domestic violence services reduce the incidence and severity of re-assault by up to 70%.

– Domestic and sexual violence services also reduce homelessness, child welfare cases, and violent crimes; save millions in medical costs; increase the effectiveness of substance abuse programs; help child victims stay safe from abuse and succeed in school; and help adult victims stay in jobs. These programs also make the most efficient use of state dollars, by leveraging state dollars with local donations and volunteer support.

– Domestic and sexual violence services could not exist without critical state funding.  However, the current total state and federal funding available in Oregon meets less than half the minimum core emergency need. During these troubled economic times, it is more crucial than ever to support essential safety services for victims and their children. Please support of funding for domestic and sexual violence services and help victims become survivors.

Find your legislators at: http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/

 

Permanent link to this article: http://alliancetoendviolenceagainstwomen.org/contact_your_legislators/