Government Shutdown x Domestic Violence Shelters

Antonella Kinder

Domestic violence shelters are struggling to keep their doors open as the U.S. rolls into day 34 of the government shutdown.

“But domestic violence shelters aren’t federally funded.”

Right, so why are some DV shelters hit so hard by the shutdown?

Federal *grants* which support DV programs and operations make up a portion of a shelter’s revenue stream, and how big that portion is depends on how much they have been able to successfully diversify their funding stream (ex: 1/2 federal, 1/2 community support).

SO, government shutdown = no federal grant funds or federal reimbursements for expenses incurred in relation to those grants = DV shelters down a revenue stream.

“Why aren’t funding streams more diversified?”

Well, how supportive is said DV shelter’s community/state? Domestic violence is – still considered by many a “not me, not my family, not my community” issue – still a polarizing subject (Why did she/he stay? She/he is lying.), and without people like you donating to support their mission, scores of DV shelters still have to rely fairly heavily on federal grants.

Beth Goodrich, Executive Director at the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence, sounded into the Huffington Post to state that without these federal funds, a number of shelters in AR can only maintain a few weeks before furloughing staff, limiting services, or even closing their doors.

Goodrich adds, “Many of our shelters are at capacity right now”, and that the biggest concern for closed shelters would be where to send residents who have no where else to live after escaping their abusive relationship.

“How can I help?”

  • Donate to your local DV shelters.
  • Call your representatives and let them know how the shutdown is impacting DV shelters. Here you go Arkansas, we made it easy for you.

House of Representatives:
Rick Crawford, 202-225-4073
French Hill, 202-225-2506
Steve Womack, 202-225-4301
Bruce Westerman, 202-225-3772

John Boozman, 202-224-4843
Tom Cotton, 202-224-2353

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