Should we be funding Domestic Violence shelters?
Domestic violence is a problem in our country with nearly 1 million women experiencing at least one incident of domestic abuse each year, (2009/10 British Crime Survey). Social-program funding is being scrutinized in the current economic climate with doubts as to whether American tax dollars should be used to help victims of domestic violence. Cutting funds for government programs that assist victims of domestic violence is not an option for many reasons. In this essay I will explore some of the many ways these programs help our fellow citizens in order to support the argument for continuing to fund said programs.
54% of women victims of serious sexual assault were assaulted by their partner or ex-partner (Stern 2010). 19% of women have experienced stalking since the age of 16 (Smith (Ed.), Coleman, Eder and Hall January 2011). These statistics help give a picture of the problem but do little to shed light on the solution. There are many programs and shelters offered to victims of domestic violence, Hill Country Cares is one of them. Hill Country Cares is a government funded women’s shelter better known s HCC. This is a place where victims of domestic violence are referred to from many sources. (i.e. local authorities after reporting a domestic violence incident). HCC is a safe place where victims receive many different types of assistance while their situation, as well as the painfully intimate details of their abuse, are kept entirely confidential.
Admittance into the HCC program is entirely optional but comes with very clearly defined rules that are put into place for the safety and benefit of the domestic violence victims. Admitted are not allowed to contact the abuser for any reason and limits on how electronic resources are used are set before the victim is allowed to take full shelter. 76% of all DVincidents are repeat, (Flatley, Kershaw, Smith, Chaplin and Moon 24). Employees and staff at the shelter are also given very strict guidelines on how to communicate with other agencies in order to provide abuse victims with resources without putting them in danger of future domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence are more likely to experience repeat victimization than victims of any other types of crime (British Crime Survey Reports).
Confidentiality and safety are only the first step in the process that these types of programs use to help survivors of domestic violence begin their recovery process. Psychiatric counseling, a victim advocate, and social worker are required as well as a variety of classes focused on helping the victim make a transition into a life that is safe and empowered. Physical needs of the victim are addressed with donations from Salvation Army as well as many other sources led by people who simply want to help. Clothes, makeup, toiletries, books, and food are provided while the victim follows the outlined plan for recovery and shows a desire to rebuild their...