Not everyone experiences peace on earth during the holiday season.
This past December, the YWCA’s domestic violence shelter housed 28 adults and 25 children fleeing violence at home. In addition, shelter staff fielded 53 crisis calls and had 26 individuals walk in for services. Staff also made nearly 400 referrals and helped survivors develop almost 90 safety plans.
The YWCA’s Rape Crisis Center responded to more than three dozen rape survivors who required immediate intervention at area hospital emergency departments or sought services through the center’s 24-hour hotline.
The YWCA’s domestic violence shelter is the only emergency DV shelter in the community. The Rape Crisis Center is the only such program operating in Northwest Ohio.
The recent partial government shutdown received a lot of media attention. Much of it focused on the impact of the shutdown on government employees, contractors and their families. That impact was certainly real – and tragic for those directly impacted.
But the impact extended far deeper into society than these segments who worked without pay for five weeks.
When interruptions in government funding occur, many – often the most vulnerable among us — in communities throughout the country are hurt.
The partial government shutdown interrupted funding and distribution of funding to domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers across the country – including here in Northwest Ohio.
Last year, more than 700 women and children sought safety at the YWCA’s emergency domestic violence shelter. Hundreds more received counseling and safety education about domestic violence. More than 500 victims of sexual assault turned to the YWCA’s rape crisis center for support last year, and hundreds more relied on the rape crisis center to provide education and counseling about sexual violence.
Women who are victims of physical or sexual assault could be victimized again by legislative gridlock that threatens the nation’s social safety net.