The governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, decided that one way of dealing with California’s budget crisis is to eliminate — not reduce — state funding for domestic violence shelters. The state’s budget for agencies that provide domestic violence services is typically $20.4 million. Agencies braced for a 20 percent reduction but had no idea how bad it could be.
A spokesperson for Catalyst, a nonprofit organization which provides, among its many services, a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter for victims of domestic abuse, counseling, a children’s program and legal support, says their volunteers are still in shock. 35 percent of their budget relies on state funding, and now it’s gone.
"We were bracing for the 20 percent cut,” said Executive Director Anastacia Snyder, “but did not believe the governor could, with a clear conscience, cut 100 percent of funding for services that keep women and children safe and alive." (You can go to Stop Family Violence if you’re a California resident and want to find out ways to take action.)
This is going to be devastating to some of the most vulnerable women and children in California. What do you think about Schwarzenegger’s decision?