President Bush included in his 2008 budget resolution a provision that hands over control of anti-violence program funding to the executive branch. Women’s rights advocates are concerned that this provision will endanger programs and services that are available to victims of domestic abuse throughout the country.
Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), a longtime advocate of domestic violence prevention, indicated his concern to the proposal in a recent statement. Noting the progress that has been made towards preventing domestic violence and providing services to victims under the Violence Against Women Act, which he wrote, Biden said, “Since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, Congress, police, judges, prosecutors, non-profit organizations and many others have made great strides in preventing domestic violence, helping victims and their families, and prosecuting abusers. Unfortunately, the President’s plan to restructure funding for domestic violence programs puts all of our hard work in serious jeopardy. Under the President’s new budget, those in the front lines of this battle will now have to fight for resources to continue their work.”
Advocates of domestic violence prevention fear that this proposal would result in drastic budget cuts in existing programs. Senator Biden estimates that over 20 individual programs could be subject to consolidation.