Women’s Shelters Could Face Cuts

By Sharon Ko

MEDFORD, Ore. — Services helping millions of women suffering from domestic violence are in danger of being cut.

Thousands of dollars pour into Community Works each year through the Violence Against Women Act.

Funding supports domestic violence shelters which house about 300 women and children every year. But services like that are in jeopardy if lawmakers cannot reach an agreement.

The Senate wants to put language in the bill to include gays, lesbians, transgender, Native Americans and illegal immigrants. The House wants to keep it as is.

On Tuesday, Senator Ron Wyden teamed up with local law enforcement officials and advocates to push forward for re-authorization.

“A lot of those women dont know where to turn. We heard this morning an example about a situation of a couple of rural communities, where the only way to get out, is in effect ask the abuser for a ride,” he said.

Wyden also said the fate of the bill should not be based on bipartisan differences.

If reauthorized, the Violence Against Women Act would provide about $600 million for domestic violence agencies across the nation.