Future for Violence Against Women Act uncertain; experts say law is critical for domestic violence victims
SALISBURY, Md. – The Violence Against Women Act, a law enacted back in 1994, provides critical funding to agencies supporting victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. This law was set to expire at the end of September but thanks to the quick thinking of congress members it’s getting a much needed extension.
“It assists domestic violence program it assists sexual assault, and rape crisis centers and the funding that’s necessary to provide certain services to victims and survivors of these crimes,” said Executive Director of the Life Crisis Center Abigail Marsh.
The act provides funds that some facilities here on the eastern shore heavily rely on.
“Life crisis center receives funding from the violence against women act to assist women who are getting protective orders in domestic violence so it assists in us being able to provide a staff attorney that a victim of domestic violence can use at no cost to them,” said Marsh.
Marsh says this funding plays a crucial role in helping victims break free from abuse.
“The legal piece of it is critical because obtaining that protective order they can also get really important things like emergency family maintenance they can continue to stay in their home without having to live with abuse,” said Marsh.
Marsh adds that the act needs to stay in place in order to provide crucial services to make sure the victim becomes the survivor.
“They need help and support every step of the way so that they can become empowered and independent and live without abuse,” said Marsh.
Without any decisions made the law has since received an extension and will remain in effect until December 7th where Congress will ultimately decide if they’ll reauthorize the proposal.
“I think it really would be important for congress to step forward and make that statement that we do care about violence against women and we’re going to continue to fund these,” said Marsh.
Marsh adds that its extremely important to help and support victims every step of the way, so that they can become empowered and independent and live a life without abuse.
We want to remind you that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and if you or someone you know is in need of help you can call the Life Crisis Center at 410-749-81-11