Jay GotraDomestic abuse hurts us all. When the safety of a home is threatened, there is nowhere left to turn. Too often families are torn apart silently behind closed doors. Organizations like Ten Men and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence do their best to stand against the tide of domestic violence. And while we are still celebrating the institution of legislation within our state that would create the domestic violence prevention fund, many similar organizations all over the country are suffering. What is to be done when the government pulls funding from the efforts of these organizations trying to end Domestic Violence, or treat victims of these crimes? By yanking the carpet out from underneath the feet of those standing against domestic violence, we all lose.

Fewer Dollars Go To Domestic Violence Treatment and Prevention Every Year. Women and children across the nation are left victimized and alone, stranded without the proper care to lift them from their situations. A recent report from the NNEDV (National Network to End Domestic Violence) says more than 10,000 cases of domestic violence could not be helped this last year out of the 78,000 who reached out for support. Those in need of a helping hand should never be left hanging.

The report by the NNEDV cited that 28% of programs for the prevention of domestic abuse lacked the resources to help because of a decrease in funding. Whether losing money from a lack of government aid, or a marked drop in public donations, domestic abuse prevention is losing its ability protect the deserving. Program funding hasn’t recovered from the recession, so continuous budget cuts over the past eight years have sent programs reeling.

Imagine gathering the strength to remove yourself from an abusive situation, only to be turned away due to a lack of space. Oftentimes, this barrier is enough to drive the abused back into the arms of an abuser. Insufficient funds mean less food for the hungry, fewer beds for the weary, and a smaller shelter for the needy. Those who truly need help are faced with an impossible choice. Do you risk living on the streets? Or choose a life of abuse for some semblance of comfort?

Everyone deserves a bed to sleep in and a place in which to feel safe. If the lack of funding going to institutions providing for the needy infuriates you, then say something. Speak out, demand funding and get involved. However, there is still time to make a change. Raise awareness, help the needy, and be a shoulder for anyone who needs it. Every action, no matter the scale, can make a difference in a life. The good you do today will inspire others tomorrow.