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Sequestration may limit support for family violence victims

The nation's volatile economy predicated the recent spending cut that was implemented in March 2013. Government-funded programs are some of the most affected. Funding for programs that support victims of domestic violence and sexual and spousal abuse are those that are facing sequestration. Sadly, more and more victims in Texas are in need of these services.

A recent report found that nearly all programs that help victims of domestic and family violence have been experiencing budget cuts and increasing demands. 69 percent of state programs have experienced funding cuts from both the federal and state government. Private donations can't make up for those lost funds.

While Texas has yet to experience these funding sequestrations, it is already apparent that difficult times are ahead for domestic violence programs in the state. The last few years saw only steady funding at best. Like in other states, the number of victims needing help and support is consistently on the rise.

Experts blame the worsening economic landscape the country is facing as a possible reason for the increase in domestic violence cases. As jobs become scarce, people become more aggravated and depressed, ultimately resorting to violent behavior, which often ends with their own family members. Also, this makes it difficult to acquire the much-needed funds from the private sector as everyone is tightening their belt until the economy makes a solid turnaround.

Aside from the economy's problems, Texas is also experiencing a population boom. An increase in population results in static funding, says analysts.

As disturbing as it may sound, many agencies have begun contemplating the possibility of shutting their doors and denying services to victims. While this may be an extreme reaction to the funding problem, it is becoming a popular option for a last resort at the moment.

Programs that support and help victims of domestic violence are essential in protecting innocent lives, mostly those of women and children. As the private sector tries its best to fill in for the necessary financial support, it remains a huge challenge for everyone to overcome.

Source: Think Progress, "Domestic Violence Shelters Warn That Sequestration Has Put Women's Lives On The Line," Bryce Covert, June 3, 2013

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