Title image

Friday, April 11, 2008

share my stress: federal budget crap trickles down

posted by Delia Christina
April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and here are some things to be aware of: the President's proposed FY09 budget contains massive cuts and eliminations to VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) and VAWA (Violence Against Women Act)-funded programs. Every year, it seems like the President makes a lame attempt to target these funds. What's his frakking deal? Anyway, nationwide, activists and organizations are lobbying their legislators hard to make sure these proposed cuts and eliminations don't happen. Our contacts say that there is little to no chance that the Congress will approve an outright elimination of these funds - especially during an election year, when the end of the Bush administration is in sight - but you never know. (I mean, come on. When have we ever been reassured that a Democrat-led Congress can/will 'hold fast'?)

Organizations like mine are in self-defense mode. Already, we're feeling the biting crunch of the FY08 cuts in the VOCA/VAWA budget. Programs (i.e., medical/legal advocacy, child sexual assault counseling, adult counseling, education and training sessions, and crucial hotline services) are on the chopping block. For real. This has been my world for the past few weeks, the reason why I've been away from the interwebs. I've been looking at a black hole and trying to figure out how to keep from going in. The folks on the front line of direct service are suffering more - as are the survivors we serve - but I have a tight knot in my belly right now.

If this funding is cut where the frak is this funding going to come from?

In my city, the Administration has made a pretty good effort at throwing some funding support behind domestic violence services but the same kind of fiscal and infrastructure support needs to be thrown behind sexual assault at the local level. Though hotlines like the one my organization operates in the city show no signs of decreased use, our local police departments report a decrease in rape reports and it looks like their administrative goal is to see those reports decrease further - as if that's a good thing. If sexual assault victims aren't going to the police, they're going to organizations like mine where they find the help they need to navigate both the medical and legal systems - if they can find us and are made aware of us.

So, this month, call your local rape crisis center or organization that helps victims and survivors of sexual and domestic assault and ask what you can do to get the word out and protect these funds. You know the drill: write those letters to your local papers, call your legislator and ask what she's doing to protect those funds, call your local city rep and ask what their plan is if the city rape crisis centers disappear. Keep your eyes and ears open about local events, press conferences, action items, and other stuff the public can participate in. You'll make some stressed out staffer somewhere extremely happy.

[Thanks for listening; now I have to call some indifferent aldermen and check on an epileptic dog. Stress!]


I support Health Care for America Now

Comments are great; obnoxious comments get deleted. Deal.

We are legion
contact Bitch PhD
contact M. LeBlanc
contact Ding
contact Sybil Vane
contact Taddyporter

Need emergency contraception? Click here or here.

money to burn?

Wacoal bras & lingerie

Or, if your money is burning a hole in your pocket, here's Bitch PhD's
Amazon Wish List
(If you'd rather send swag to LeBlanc or Sybil or Ding or Taddy, email them and bug them about setting up their own begging baskets.)

Welcome New Readers
So Wait, You Have a Boyfriend???
Ultimate Bra Post part I
Ultimate Bra Post part II Abortion
Planned Parenthood
Do You Trust Women?
Feminisms (including my own)
Feminism 101 (why children are not a lifestyle choice)
Misogyny In Real Life (be sure and check out the comment thread)
Moms At Work--Over There
Professor Mama
My Other Mom
Moms in the Academy
About the Banner Picture