Extended partial government shutdown could impact services.
At this time, Pennsylvania’s 59 local domestic violence programs serving all 67 counties of the Commonwealth remain open and fully operational despite the threat of an ongoing partial government shutdown.
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) is partially funded by federal funds and also passes federal funds through to its 59 local domestic violence programs. A limited number of programs also receive federal funds directly. Federal funds help local programs to sustain all core services. However, each program receives varying levels of federal funding, which means the impacts of the shutdown will vary greatly by program. Smaller programs with fewer than 20 staff and rural programs will be disproportionately impacted.
If the partial shutdown continues, programs will be forced to implement contingency plans to continue to provide core services.
Core services include:
- 24-hour hotline
- Crisis intervention counseling
- Safety planning/advocacy services
- Trauma-informed group and individual empowerment counseling (includes children)
- Community educational awareness
- Systems advocacy
The first services to be cut will be programs that do not affect the immediate safety of victims and survivors such as community awareness, training and systems advocacy. Additionally, legal and medical advocates may be unable to take on additional cases. Other broader implications include fewer victims being able to access critical services, more victims being turned away for emergency shelter, and possible staff layoffs. Various public benefits (SNAP, WIC, Section 8 housing, and more) on which survivors rely to rebuild their lives will also be impacted in the coming weeks.
“When it comes to victims and survivors of domestic violence, the impact of the partial government shutdown goes far beyond financial constraints. It becomes a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation if these individuals are unable to access critical services or benefits. We urge our legislators and the administration to reopen government as soon as possible.”Susan Higginbotham, PCADV CEO
If programs are forced to reduce the services they provide, victims may need to turn to neighboring counties to seek additional services and emergency shelter. Victims and survivors will be able to contact local hotlines and the National Domestic Violence Hotline as all will continue to operate.