GLEN WHITE – More than $1M in essential services are about to be cut from the upcoming WV State budget and advocacy agencies are up in arms.
Patricia Bailey, Executive Director at the Women’s Resource Center for Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, and Summers Counties said, “to save a life, one life to me, is worth a whole lot more than that entire line item.”
Voices from the Women’s Resource Center and the Just For Kids Program said the Governor’s budget cut will only harm future victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.
Scott Miller, Executive Director of the ‘Just For Kids’ Program, said, “because we’re an essential service I don't feel like we can’t not provide services. Unfortunately the Governor feels like, well, you can do more with less, but there's a point where you just have to do less with less.”
Bailey agreed; “if we lose people there's going to be people out there who aren't going to receive the services they need and the services we provide are lifesaving services.”
Miller said this cut by the Governor is a big mistake, “he made a statement apparently that many of these services are redundant. That's just not the case with child advocacy centers.”
Statistics show that West Virginia ranks 8th in the nation for domestic violence homicides. Officials and employees at the Women's Resource Center said they're working hard to change that statistic.
Bailey said, “the counseling, the legal advocacy, the referrals, the help from DHHR and the child advocacy centers...the very people who have been cut out of that line item. Who’s going to do that if we can't?”
Helping people get their lives back in order after recovering from trauma is a crucial job that not everyone can do. “We do what we do, were passionate about what we do, and we want to continue to do what we do and nobody else can do it,” said Bailey.
Agency workers encourage anyone in support of their cause to call the Governor’s Office and express concern about these essential services losing funds.
Bailey said, “our work will be done when nobody else dies as a result of domestic violence.”