Ask Congress to fund anti-violence programs

Both statistically and anecdotally, incidents of violence against women increase as the economy falters. As Obama prepares to release his budget, now’s the time to ask him and Congress not to reduce funding for preventing violence against women and helping survivors. According to Women’s eNews:

Congress is currently authorized to spend up to $175 million a year for the program. But the actual allocation of federal dollars is subject to a congressional vote, and lawmakers last year set aside $123 million; over $50 million less than was approved. That was a slight cut from fiscal 2007, when Congress spent $125 million on the program.
Women’s safety advocates also want Congress to fully fund the Violence Against Women Act, a broader anti-violence law originally passed in 1994 that provides some funds for domestic violence shelters but also sets aside money for a wide range of other services relating to sexual and domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
But with an ailing economy curtailing federal revenues from taxes, and lawmakers focused on economic-stimulus efforts, more money for discretionary social programs that combat domestic violence could be hard to come by.

In other words, the tanking economy means there’s a greater need for these services, but less money to provide them. Marcella at abyss2hope writes,

I am asking each US citizen who reads this post to contact President Obama, your 2 senators (or 1 if you live in MN) and your representative and ask them all to support the reauthorization and the funding for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. After you contact your representatives, please ask those you know to do the same.

Again, contacted your elected officials HERE.
UPDATE: Obama’s budget is up now. I don’t have time right now to comb through for the info on violence against women, but will update this post later. In the meantime, post links in comments if you see some analysis elsewhere!

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4 Comments

  1. amkurtz
    Posted February 26, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    This is from the Department of Health and Human Services section of the budget:
    “Prevents Teen Pregnancy. The Budget supports State, community-based, and faith-based efforts to reduce teen pregnancy using evidence-based models. The program will fund models that stress the importance of abstinence while providing medically-accurate and age-appropriate
    information to youth who have already become
    sexually active.”
    Anybody understand exactly what this means? Why not “medically-accurate and age-appropriate info” for kids who aren’t yet sexually active?

  2. Stephanie1989
    Posted February 26, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Well they can’t exactly ask all of their students whether or not they’ve had sex yet…it sounds to me like its NOT going to be abstinence-only education, but the paragraph is written in such a way that it is designed to appease abstinence-only supporters by insinuating that the sex-ed funding won’t increase the number of students having sex and also by focusing on the importance of abstinence teaching. However it looks like there will be more funding for non-abstinence-based sex-ed due to the “medically-accurate information” bit.

  3. amkurtz
    Posted February 26, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I guess they had to choose their words wisely. Thanks!

  4. meeneecat
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    Amkurtz, I don’t understand the phrasing of the statement very much either, But, I’m sure, like stephanie1989 said, it was done to appease conservatives.
    Thus, I do worry that all this coddling of republicans and conservatives is not going to be good for progressive goals in the end. The statement: “give medically-accurate and age-appropriate information to youth who have already become sexually active.” seems to be written this way in order to quash any conservative accusations against comprehansive sex ed. (i.e.: that medically appropriate sex education (for those who aren’t already sexually active) will encourage sexual activity)…However we all know that accurate sex education does not encourage or increase sexual activity, and most all the accusations that conservatives make against comprehensive sex ed, have been proven false…so why even write the budget this way – it’s as if they are giving credence to these conservative arguments against sex ed by doing this. However, if the administration is claiming to support Science, than shouldn’t be afraid to go with the program that has been scientifically proven to be the most effective?
    The phrasing doesn’t really make sense to me either – but one this is clear, it was written this way in order to appease conservatives and abstinence-only ed supporters. Still, I don’t think it’s good to give credence to inaccuracies and lies in order to appeal to right-wing republicans.

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