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Domestic Violence Victims Could See Additional Hardship As Shutdown Continues

Nonprofit organizations are having trouble in their efforts to serve survivors of domestic violence.

They’re staring down funding lapses associated with the government shutdown, that will likely impact basic needs that help survivors move forward with their lives.

"It could include the temporary cessation of certain services such as advocacy out in the community, support through domestic violence shelters and hotline,” said Karen Jarmoc, the CEO of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

More than half of CCADV funding comes from the federal government. Additionally, the state money the organization gets is federally supported.

“Knowing that there are nearly 40,000 victims of domestic violence who seek help in the state of Connecticut from one of the state's 18 domestic violence providers, this is enormously concerning,” Jarmoc said.

Federal funding is important for nonprofit organizations that provide safe spaces for victims to live.

The shutdown could lead to survivors being forced out of The Prudence Crandall Center – a shelter in New Britain.

Barbara Damon, the CEO of the center, recently invited members of the media and two United States Senators inside the shelter to bring awareness to the fact that the shutdown’s reach extends beyond federal employees.

“I can’t even imagine what they’re going through, but the narrative hasn’t yet talked about the impact of programs like ours who are supported by government funding – who help vulnerable populations and folks who just don’t have another option,” Damon said.

Credit Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio
Connecticut Public Radio
Barbara Damon (left) invited Senators Richard Blumenthal (right) and Chris Murphy to a tour of the Prudence Crandall Center on January 22, 2019. Her goal was to promote awareness around funding for domestic violence victims that's currently being withheld.

The center loses $45,000 a month in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as the shutdown continues. Without money on hand, staff wages could be cut first and then, tenants may face eviction.

“At some point, we aren’t able to afford the rent for this building,” Damon said. “Those are very scary things for us to think about.”

Damon said that her organization can get by on its limited reserve funds and private donations until the end of February.

Frankie Graziano’s career in broadcast journalism continues to evolve.

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