Violence Against Women Act expires, funding for local agencies in jeopardy

SALISBURY, Md. – Life Crisis executive director Abby Marsh says it’s nothing more than a waiting game at this point. To see if congress will re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act after it expired in February. The act provides funding for agencies that support women of domestic violence, and assault.

“Here at life crisis, the violence against women act helps support the funding for our staff attorney, and our staff attorney represents victims in protective orders and peace order hearings,” she said.

After hearing about the expiration, Marsh says herself , along with other agencies were invited in on a conference call to see how the change would effect their services.

“We are funded, we are funded through the end of this fiscal year, it’s in the federal fiscal year so that’s September 30th, so that’s good news.”

But here comes the not so good news. If congress doesn’t agree to re-authorize the act. Funding would be cut off, by October 1st.

“As we plan for the next year, we’ll have to look at other sources for potential funding for our staff. It could result in the loss of a staff attorney here locally to help support victim,” explained Marsh.

Local experts say making sure agencies like life crisis continue to get funding is crucial to make sure victims get the support they need. To become a survivor.

“The ways to control women, is to make sure they don’t have resources. They don’t have access to the car, they do not have access to the credit cards or the cash,” said psychologist Dr. Kathryn Seifert.

And although there’s no telling what congress will decide to do, officials say it’s critical that these services get funded. Someway,  somehow.

“The agencies that treat domestic violence and that kind of trauma are extremely important and need to be supported, “Seifert said.

Marsh says you can play a vital role in helping pass the violence against women’s act. She’s encouraging every person to contact their local legislators, state representatives, and more to have your voices be heard.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence and are in need of support you can contact life crisis at 410-749-4357.

Categories: Local News, Maryland