Family Resources is working with social services agencies across a 14-county area in Eastern Iowa to plan for a change in the way the state funds domestic violence and sexual assault services.
After a decade of sustained losses, a federal funding cut of 14% this year has created a significant deficit in Iowa’s response to victims of violent crime. Combined with last year’s 10% cut in state funding, some sexual assault and domestic violence programs throughout Iowa are facing closure.
The Crime Victim Assistance Division of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office includes regionalization of services that are funded. Iowa has been divided into six regions. Organizations in each region have been charged with the task of regional service plans based on a funding formula that will include four comprehensive service contracts for each region.
The service contracts include:
- Shelter-based services
- Domestic abuse comprehensive services
- Sexual abuse comprehensive services
- Culturally specific services
In short, there isn’t enough money to go around, so the Crime Victim Assistance Division believes we can continue to provide quality services to crime victims if changes are made in the way the services are delivered – through “cost-savings and efficiencies.”
In August, staff from the Division met with program directors from each region to discuss the proposal. Follow-up meetings in our region will continue through December. Family Resources is in the Southeast region, which stretches from Clinton to Keokuk and includes the Quad Cities, Muscatine and Burlington. To the West the region also includes Iowa City.
Our primary concern is the victim. We’re committed to developing a regional plan that meets the needs of people – primarily women and children – who need a safe place to escape violence or counseling and therapy to recover from violence and abuse. They have endured traumatic injuries – emotional and physical – and we don’t want to see them undergo further hardship.
Members of our staff are working with other organizations on a regular basis. The Crime Victim Assistance Division will be holding community meetings in our area soon to gather input from the public. You can check back here for details or through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FamRes.
We’ll keep you informed on community meeting times and locations and on further developments in the state’s plans.