Over 1300 rape crisis centers rely on federal funding to support victims and prevent rape through the Victims of Crime Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and the Rape Prevention Education Program.
If the government remains shutdown for very long, the funds available to support these crisis centers will dwindle. This may result in advocates not getting paid and the crisis centers closing down.
Why does this matter? According to a 2006 study, rape survivors who have the support of an advocate receive “more helpful information, referrals, and services and experience less secondary trauma or re-victimization by medical and legal systems.”
It’s also important to note that rape crisis centers were already feeling the economic impact of budget cuts and sequestration — and that the additional impact of the current government shutdown could cause centers to further reduce staff, hours, or services.
A note from CCASA’s Executive Director, Erin Jemison: Our allies working with representatives at the national level urgently need stories about what will happen to your organization/services if this shutdown continues and you are unable to draw down federal funds for the near future. Please contact us with anything you can share.