Florida Gov. vetoes funding for rape centers during Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Turns out that when you veto funding for rape crisis centers in the middle of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the headlines pretty much just write themselves. While the Florida legislature had allocated $1.5 million to 30 rape crisis centers in the state, Gov. Rick Scott used his line-item veto power to cut the funding.

The Governor claimed the funding was “duplicative, since, as a state, we already fund sexual violence programs.” But Jennifer Dritt, the executive director of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, said individual centers could lose between $30,000 and $100,000 each and don’t have enough funds to serve the 1.2 million women in Florida who “already have been victimized.” She told the Huffington Post:

“We say ‘here’s the need, here’s the need, here’s the need,’ and frankly, nobody’s paying any attention. We gave them information about the number of new survivors we have and we showed them that these rape crisis centers have waiting lists. Survivors are having to wait weeks, sometimes six weeks, in some programs three months to be seen. We included quotes from the programs about the waiting lists and what services they weren’t able to offer because of a lack of money. There is clearly an unmet need.”

Scott’s spokesman claims that “anyone who’s trying to say this veto is evidence of a war on women, is deliberately trying to mislead the public for political ends.” So I won’t say that. I’ll just note that it’s sexual assault awareness month, the Republican party is opposing the Violence Against Women Act, and Gov. Scott won’t even listen to the people who are working on the ground helping rape victims every day and trying desperately to raise awareness so they can get them the services they need.

Pic via Huff Po.

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One Comment

  1. Posted April 25, 2012 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    More specifically than the war on women, this was, I would guess, a part of the war on birth control. It’s sadly standard Republican dogma these days that birth control is murder–all birth control, but especially emergency birth control such as provided by rape crisis centers–and that state funding for birth control is as bad as another holocaust. Rick Scott read the memo and took it more seriously than perhaps was intended, but he didn’t take it anywhere it doesn’t logically go.

    You will see Republicans running away from this decision in coming days, but the party owns it and no one should let them forget it.

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