Trump’s Shutdown is Putting Women’s Lives at Risk

DNC Women’s Media Director Elizabeth Renda released the following statement on the Trump Shutdown allowing the Violence Against Women Act to expire and funding to lapse:


“Thanks to Donald Trump’s decision to throw a temper tantrum and force a government shutdown, women’s lives across the country are at risk. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) expired 21 days ago, and domestic violence shelters nationwide are already suffering from the absence of government funding they rely on to provide critical services to victims. One in three women will experience sexual violence in her lifetime, and thanks to the Me Too movement, more women than ever are speaking up and seeking help. No victim should ever be forced to choose between staying in a dangerous situation or going hungry, but if this shameful shutdown drags on, that’s exactly what women across this country will be forced to reckon with. It’s time for Trump and Republicans to stop playing games with Americans’ lives and join Democrats who are working to end the shutdown and pass a long-term reauthorization of the VAWA.”


Here’s a look at how domestic violence centers and advocates around the country have been affected by the Trump Shutdown:


KSBY 6: Lack of funding for Violence Against Women Act could harm local groups, victims

“‘Almost half our clients are children,’ said Kirsten Rambo, Executive Director at Stand Strong. ‘And there is a really big impact on kids who are witnessing domestic violence at home, kids who are experiencing child abuse, and these funds help them too. This has really big impacts for the whole family.’”


Daily Advertiser: Government shutdown puts domestic violence services at risk around Louisiana

“Dozens of programs across Louisiana, meant to help survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, face an uncertain future as the government shutdown continues. That’s because Congress failed to renew the Violence Against Women Act and its funding before the government shutdown last month. […] ‘A lot of the domestic violence services offered in Louisiana are very reliant on federal funding that originates out of the Department of Justice,’ Mariah Stidham Wineski, Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, told KSLA TV.”


Fox 47: Government shutdown threatens funding for Michigan domestic violence center

“‘Turning Point’s shelter currently is at capacity. We provide all the essential needs for the survivor and their children; safety, food, heat, lights, and shelter. Without the necessary funds I am not, sure how long we will be able to provide for these basic needs. Although our grants have been awarded, after January 17 we may not be able to request or receive reimbursement from those grants,’ said Turning Point CEO Sharman Davenport. ‘Like most other shelters we bill against grants on a monthly basis after dollars are spent. If the shutdown continues beyond this month we will need to determine how to continue paying salaries, as well as the utilities, and rent.’”


NTV ABC: Government shutdown halts Violence Against Women Act grant

“The Women’s Center of Advancement said if this shutdown lasts another week and a half, many people are in danger of not being able to eat. ‘When they come to us and they tell us, well we’re not eating this month or this week because no one is there for me to get my food stamps,’ said Elizabeth Powers. ‘We then feel a responsibility to say ‘Okay, how do we get you some groceries?’ […] Our clients rely on other federal organizations to help them every month; for example, food stamps, and at some point their won’t be anyone at that office to make sure they are getting the food stamps they need.’”

News 5 Cleveland: Local domestic violence programs suffering from government shutdown

“‘We have about $350,000 annually that we receive from the Violence Against Women Act. We find it absolutely unacceptable that legislation like this would not be re-signed in a timely manner,’ said Quilty.”

Boston 25 News: Support for domestic violence victims impacted by government shutdown

“‘That piece of legislation is very important to everyone who cares about survivors and cares about reducing violence against women,’ Sara Stanley, the executive director of ‘Healing Abuse Working For Change’ in Salem, said. […] ‘A survivor’s chances of successfully leaving an abusive relationship increase substantially when they have representation.’”

Chicago Tribune: DC’s fight becomes women’s problem: Funds for abuse victims held up by stalemate

“‘How many small organizations can survive a delay in payment? This is very detrimental to a lot of people who provide services,’ said Neusa Gayton, senior vice president of programs for Mujeres Latinas en Accion. The organization with locations in Chicago and North Riverside provides counseling, court advocacy and other services for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, Gayton said, and receives about $250,000 annually in federal grants through VAWA.”

Colorado Springs Gazette: Violence Against Women Act lapses during shutdown, imperiling help for victims

“‘2018 was the year of women breaking their silence like never before and that inspires more people to get out and speak out about their situation. So now people are coming out of the woodwork, people are trying to get help but where do they go to get help?’ asked Kristen Faith, founder and CEO of Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence, a national organization that planted roots in El Paso County last year.”

NBC News: ‘Women’s Lives in Danger’: Government Shutdown Holds Up Funds for Sexual Violence Survivors

“‘Our major concern right now is that the program that has been authorized is not being funded because of Trump and the shutdown,’ said Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women, which was instrumental in securing passage of the law. ‘That’s the big concern, that the money flow may be stopped, which will put women’s lives in danger.’”

WDTN News: Government shutdown gives domestic violence advocates sense of uncertainty

“At YWCA Dayton, YAWA supports everything from emergency shelter and a 24-hour crisis hotline, to case management and job skills training. ‘It really touches all aspects of our programming,’ explained Sarah Wolf-Knight, the grants and advocacy manager at YWCA. ‘And then some of our protections that are provided in VAWA truly touch everything that we do.’”