24 hour snapshot survey released
March 10, 2014 – This week the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) released a new research report that found, in a single 24-hour period, more than 66,000 victims of domestic violence received help and support from service organizations in the United States, yet nearly 10,000 more who needed assistance could not be helped due to a lack of adequate resources.
The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence participated in this project which culminated in the report, “Domestic Violence Counts 2013: A 24-hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services.” The project examined a random day, September 17, 2013, and collected information from 1,649 domestic violence programs throughout the United States from midnight to midnight on that day. It identifies needs that were met and unmet on that day and provides a snapshot of how budget cuts are affecting the staffing and resources of these organizations.
In New Hampshire 299 victims received services in that 24-hour period, but 52 could not be helped because local programs didn’t have sufficient resources. The majority of the unmet requests for services focused on demand for safe and affordable housing, one advocate wrote about one such example:
“A caller wanting to leave her abuser and was seeking emergency confidential shelter for survivors of domestic violence. Our shelter was full as were our sister shelters in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. We were going to search for openings in Vermont when she decided to remain in the house and if the danger escalated she would drive to the emergency room of the local hospital and call an advocate.”
Key findings for New Hampshire include this 24-hour data from September 17, 2013
- 299 domestic violence victims and their children received services in just one day
- 189 calls to domestic violence hotlines were answered.
- 68 individuals were educated on domestic violence during trainings conducted by local programs.
- 52 requests from domestic violence victims were turned down because programs did not have the resources to provide them, including requests for emergency shelter, housing, transportation, childcare and legal representation.
- The majority of unmet requests were from victims who had chosen to flee their abusers, and were seeking safe emergency or transitional housing.
“Every day in this country, victims of domestic violence are bravely reaching out for help, and it’s essential that they have somewhere safe to go,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the NNEDV. “We have made so much progress toward ending violence and giving survivors avenues for safety. But continued program cuts jeopardize that progress and jeopardize the lives of victims.”
When nationwide program providers were asked what most likely happens when services are not available, 60% said the most likely outcome was that victims returned to their abusers, 27% said the victims become homeless, and 11% said that victims end up living in their cars.
The number of unmet needs is related to the financial resources of these programs. In 2013, 1,696 staff positions were cut due to funding reductions, an average of 1.2 staff per program. Of the staff that were cut in 2013, 70 percent were direct service positions, such as case managers, advocates, shelter staff, and child advocates.
“These are lifesaving services that are being provided and something needs to be done to ensure that we can meet the needs of all victims day or night,” said NHCADSV Executive Director Lyn Schollett. “The Coalition will continue to work with state and federal funders as well as the private sector to find more financial resources for victims in New Hampshire.”
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The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), a 501(c)(3) social change organization, is dedicated to creating a social, political and economic environment in which domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking no longer exist. As the leading voice for domestic violence victims and their allies, NNEDV members include all 56 of the state and territorial coalitions against domestic violence, including over 2,000 local programs. NNEDV has been a premiere national organization advancing the movement against domestic violence for almost 25 years, having led efforts among domestic violence advocates and survivors in urging Congress to pass the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994. To learn more about NNEDV, please visit www.nnedv.org.