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Advocates and Survivors Unite at the State Capitol to Sound the Alarm on the Looming Funding Crisis for Domestic Violence Services

May 1, 2024


HARRISBURG, PA—On Tuesday, May 7, 2024, advocates, survivors, and legislators will unite at the Pennsylvania State Capitol’s Main Rotunda at 2:00 p.m. to amplify the urgent call for an investment in domestic violence services. This event marks the beginning of the Real Cost of Domestic Violence Campaign, an initiative spearheaded by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) to address the imminent financial crisis threatening domestic violence services across the Commonwealth.

Pennsylvania’s domestic violence programs, serving 90,000 victims annually, have not seen a meaningful budget increase in half a decade. “Chronic underfunding has reached a critical tipping point, with many programs struggling to maintain essential services,” said PCADV’s CEO, Susan Higginbotham.

Recent statistics reveal a sharp increase in unmet service requests, with over 800 requests for help going unmet on a single day in Pennsylvania due to financial constraints – more than double the number from 2022. The statistics are more than numbers; they represent lives at risk. In 2022, 104 Pennsylvanians lost their lives to domestic violence. This is an alarming trend that Pennsylvania cannot afford to ignore.

The rally aims to confront this crisis head-on and push for a crucial $8 million increase in the domestic violence line item in the FY24-25 state budget.

Sen. Judy Schwank (D-11), Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-46), Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes (D-24), and Rep. Natalie Mihalek (R-40) are leading a bipartisan, bicameral letter of support for PCADV’s requested investment in survivor safety. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support and an escalating need, funding for these essential programs has stagnated for the last five years, leaving services at a breaking point. 

We invite all media outlets and community members to join us in standing with victims and survivors to call for an investment in survivor safety and safer, stronger communities for all Pennsylvanians. “Victims and survivors cannot afford to wait,” added Higginbotham. “The time to act is now.”