Small Victory! Gov. Newsom to Include Sexual and Domestic Violence Funding in the Final Budget

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A small win today, yet we still have work to do. 

As we mentioned last week, the legislature and Governor had the very difficult task of agreeing on a budget amidst a financial crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that these decisions were likely to affect our ongoing asks related to sexual and domestic violence  prevention work. We’re relieved to inform you that the legislature and Governor reached a budget deal yesterday that preserves last year’s $5 million in funding for prevention of sexual and domestic violence.

Every year we come to the legislature and Governor to make the case for prevention funding, and to push for these funds to be reissued on an annual basis. Unfortunately, though not surprisingly given the circumstances, our ask this year for $15M to continue investing in prevention work was not granted. This marks the first time in three years the State of California will not be able to provide additional funding dedicated to prevention, and sets the State back in its efforts to end sexual and domestic violence.  Even as we scramble to navigate a fiscal and public health crisis, we must recognize that every day more Californians become victims of sexual and domestic violence, and that these issues cannot be ignored.

As coalitions, news that our $15M ask was not granted presents a challenge from which we derive an opportunity to rethink our approach. As we strive to build and nurture safer communities, we will continue to push our State to reevaluate its own budgetary priorities and to make sure that they are in line with efforts to curb and ultimately, end, sexual and domestic violence from happening in the first place. This may entail a more concerted effort to get more trauma-informed advocates in school settings, in detention centers and prisons, and connecting with community-based organizations in order to build out our safety net, to name a few strategies we’re considering.

Our coalitions are committed to keep highlighting the needs of rape crisis centers and domestic violence programs in California, and will remain steadfast in our advocacy and collaboration with the legislature and Governor as this difficult process continues. 

As a movement, we will continue to assert the dignity of all survivors and amplify innovative and transformative approaches to addressing and ending sexual violence.

+Read the full statement HERE: 23JUN20 Final Budget Statement_FY19 SD Funds Protected

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