Spokane County Domestic Violence Program in danger of losing funding - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane County Domestic Violence Program in danger of losing funding

A vigil was held at YWCA in Spokane Tuesday afternoon to remember those who have lost there lives to domestic violence or who have survived abuse. A vigil was held at YWCA in Spokane Tuesday afternoon to remember those who have lost there lives to domestic violence or who have survived abuse.

SPOKANE, Wash. - Thousands of domestic violence victims will no longer be able to turn to the Spokane County Domestic Violence Team, after funding for the program gets cut in January.

A vigil was held at YWCA in Spokane Tuesday afternoon to remember those who have lost there lives to domestic violence or who have survived abuse.   A balloon release symbolized the victims of abuse.

Experts believe the number of victims will go up when the team is dissolved, leaving over 3,700 victims without services.

"There will be no advocate to contact the victim to ensure their safety. Make sure they have resources to get out of the abuse, and let them know what's happening in the system," said Patty Wheeler, Director for the Domestic Violence Program in Spokane County.

Carol Ann Kraft and her daughter are survivors of a verbally abusive situation at home. They're currently homeless and in the care of the Domestic Violence Program.  Carol says the program saved her and her daughter from abuse. She said without their help, she wouldn't know what to do next.

"Where we going to go? Are we going to go to the streets? Are we going to have to stay where we are? If we stay where we are, we die. And that's just bottom line," said Kraft.

Without the team experts feel victims will be less likely to speak out against their abusers, medical costs will increase, and we could see more homicides as a result.

The Domestic Violence Team was created 13 years ago with the help of funding as a result of the Violence Against Women Act.  Since the Act passed domestic violence in this country has decreased by 50%.

Kevin Randal
KHQ Reporter

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