Valentine's Day? Just Another Tough One for Domestic Violence Victims
February 13, 2013
Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean hearts, flowers and candy when you’re in an abusive relationship.
This is also Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and, in Oregon, the groups that provide shelter and services to people fleeing abuse say they can’t focus on prevention for young people when they’re barely able to serve the domestic-violence victims in crisis.
According to the Oregon Coalition on Domestic and Sexual Violence, the shelter system receives less than half of what is considered the minimum necessary funding for emergency services. Its director, Vanessa Timmons, said the immediate goal is more state money from lawmakers.
“What I’m hearing from them right now, is, “We get it, but right now it’s an uphill climb,” said Timmons. “But what I say is, domestic and sexual violence services have been underfunded historically in our state for so long, we can’t afford to not make this shift.”
Timmons’ group also is advocating for several bills in the Legislature. They include authorizing a statewide study of teen dating violence and setting up a fund for prevention activities.
Kerry Naughton, who heads the crime survivors program for the Partnership for Safety and Justice, said Oregon’s criminal justice system is focused on locking people up instead of getting at the root causes of the problems that often lead to abuse. She thinks there are better things to spend tax dollars on than more prison beds.
“That frees up a lot of money that can be reinvested into other parts of the public safety system, that have seen their funding go either un-funded or cut for so long - like victim services, like state troopers, like community corrections,” she said.
Last year, more than 40 women killed in Oregon were domestic-violence victims, and the shelter system receives 175,000 annual requests for emergency lodging and services.
- About Us
- Our Work
- Safety and Sentencing
- Crime Survivors
- Youth Justice
- Justice Reinvestment
- Information Center
- Press Room
- Take Action
Join our action alert network
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of the issues we work on. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.