SPOKANE, Wash. - Programs in Washington that help domestic abuse survivors could be getting a massive budget cut.
 
Local non-profits like the YWCA could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.
 
One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. In Spokane, domestic violence is the number one call to Spokane police. Having a pathway out is essential for survivors. Unfortunately, that pathway is getting a little bumpy.
 
"When you are 75 to 80 percent funded by government grants, you know that it is a process that you're always going to have to work hard to make sure you have significant funding," YWCA CEO Jeanette Hauck said.
 
Hauck said historically, the federal government funds a lot of supportive services or emergency shelters for victims of crimes but this year that funding decreased. Meaning the state has less federal money to give to those services, around $25 million less, according to the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
 
Without the state adding to its own budget, places like the YWCA will feel the brunt of the cutbacks.
 
"Our specific program will be reduced by about 35%. So our emergency shelter grant will decrease by about $300,000. That's a significant amount of dollars that we use to pay for staff, and to run our shelter," she said.
 
There are two other unmet needs grants that could be impacted too... Meaning more money lost.
 
"We feel that our services are essential so discontinuing services doesn't seem to be a viable option for us," she said.
 
However, Senator Andy Billig said finding this funding is a priority when looking at the budget.
 
"I think probably there is a lot of support. I support trying to continue filling that gap and make sure that these services are provided for people are in crisis and at a very vulnerable time. We talk about public safety and this is absolutely a public safety priority to provide support for domestic violence victims," Senator Billig said.
 
Senator Dhingra also noted that the Victim of Crime Act that provides federal dollars has been decreasing for years and for the last two, the state had put in $20 million to bridge that gap.
 
Senator Billig said the state has historically filled that gap. 
 
"This is a funding priority and we understand the federal funding has been decreasing and I think we're going to do everything we can to try to make up for the cuts in federal funding with state funding as we had in the past," he said.
 
Hauck is now asking community members to speak with our local lawmakers to ask for more funding to make sure these cuts don't happen.

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