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.
The statewide program's court advocates provide services in every city in Rhode Island through the four regional district courthouses — Garrahy, Noel, McGrath and Murray. As set forth by the law, these advocates help victims navigate the legal system by educating them about their rights and assisting them in securing those rights; informing victims of the availability of protective orders and helping them obtain them as appropriate; and referring them to vital social services. These are all critical steps in increasing victim safety — steps that can be overwhelming to those in crisis with no legal background.
In 2012, the courts had more than 8,000 victims of domestic violence seeking advocacy services. This included more than 3,000 civil protective orders and 5,000 criminal proceedings. Unfortunately, with over 70 percent of the program's core funding eliminated over the last seven years, as well as various federal reductions that have had an impact on the agencies, it has become impossible to provide the same level of service.
Victims needing assistance will be able to access services and meet with advocates Tuesday through Friday, while other offices, staff and operational functions in the courthouses will remain the same. Victims can still file a restraining order with the family or district court clerk on Mondays if they need one immediately. And for those needing other support services, the victims of crime helpline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-494-8100.
Those concerned about the closings, are asked to call their representative or senator to implore them to restore funding that provides lifesaving services to thousands of domestic violence victims.
(See attached file: State Funding for Domestic Violence Court Advocacy)
The Diocese of Providence will observe the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on October 1, 2014
This statewide event will mark the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2014 with Rhode Island's
Three Sisters Ice Cream in Providence will be donating all profits from their Pumpkin ice cream sales
Join Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center (BVAC) in commemorating October as National Domestic Violence
Become a Helpline Advocate Training sessions will be held this fall on the following dates from 6 p.m.
Silent Witnesses help remember and honor those lost to domestic violence. Visit the Women's Resource
Take a step back in time, and spend a fun-filled evening with the Rat Pack to benefit the Domestic Violence
Behind Closed Doors is an original play written and performed by survivors of domestic violence from
Suite Tart Salon is offering a deep conditioner, blow dry, hand massage and a refreshing beverage for
Please join us in celebrating our 35th anniversary with WBNA legend, multiple MVP honoree and four-time
Empire Beauty School is holding a fundraising and awareness event at their salon in honor of the Elizabeth
You're invited to the Church Street Coffeehouse for a Women's Resource Center's Benefit Concert featuring
Thayer Street businesses are partnering up on October 15, offering amazing promotions all to benefit
During this interactive training workshop, the RICADV's Director of Policy Zulma Garcia will address
Imagine: A World Without Relationship Violence By attending the LABMF’s 2014 Imagine: A World Without
"The Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center (EBC) is holding a yard sale at their community center! You can
Step out and support the Women's Center of RI (WCRI) during the Annual Walk to End Domestic Violence. Invite
Watch "Private Violence," a powerful film about domestic violence, at Jane Pickens Theater in Newport,
Watch "Private Violence," a powerful film about domestic violence, at Cable Car Cinema in Providence,
E & O Tap will be donating 20% of their profits from the night to Sojourner House. For more information,
Finding Her Way is a three-day, Christian-based retreat for women who have survived sexual assault. Sponsored
Join the Women's Resource Center at the 2014 Pell Bridge Run, and help raise money to end domestic violence
Boiler House Bikram Yoga will be hosting a glowing live music yoga class by OMNIVORE for $20. Proceeds
15% of all proceeds will support the Women's Resource Center. Visit the Women's Resource Center's Facebook
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/WRCNBC. Please note that the time of this event is from
Heels to Heal is raising money and awareness for nonviolence and against domestic abuse. This two-mile
Join the RICADV's member agency Sojourner House for its 4th Annual Masquerade Ball! Inspired by Mad
At this training session, RICADV staff member Carmen Recalde-Russo will discuss the dynamics of domestic