FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, May 6, 2013
[PROVIDENCE – May 6, 2013] The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and its member agencies that run the statewide Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program (Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County, Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center, and Women's Resource Center) are very sorry to announce today that because of severe state budgets cuts, the court advocacy program will no longer be available to victims of domestic violence on Mondays, starting June 1, 2013. With no other remaining areas to absorb the budget cuts, the agencies are left with no choice but to scale back these much needed services that provide a lifeline to victims of domestic violence in the midst of abusive situations.
Every year since 1988, victims of domestic violence have been able to receive assistance and services from the Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program. And, every year since 2007, the funds for this program have been drastically slashed — it is now unable to fully operate with only $129,094 of its original $425,000 budget. It is impossible to staff four courthouses, 5 days a week with this very limited funding. The bottom line for victims of domestic violence is clear: the funds must be restored.