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Monday, April 4, 2011 - 11:40am

Funding Plan Worries Domestic Violence Shelters

Some domestic violence shelters in the state are worried they will lose funding to serve everyone who needs their services.

That’s because the state wants federal funds alone to support the shelters and the shelters say federal money could come with more restrictions.

The Governor’s budget uses $3.8 million federal welfare dollars to pay for domestic violence programs.

But some victims’ advocates are concerned welfare money can only pay for services for pregnant women, families with children and for programs whose aim is to keep families together.

Shannon Willis at the Peace Place shelter in Winder says that could exclude people without children, and keeping families together is not always ideal:

"Domestic violence is about power and control and inside of these relationships they affect single people, elderly people without children and we don’t for safety reasons encourage people staying in relationship when their life is in harm’s way," says Willis.

Spokesperson for Governor Nathan Deal, Brian Robinson says the Governor's office has consulted with the federal agency that oversees welfare funds, and they are confident using the money to help all people who need domestic violence assistance is appropriate.

"If a woman shows up at a shelter and regardless of whether she’s married regardless of whether she has children. if she has been abused if she is in danger, if she is in need of this state service, she will be served, "says Robinson. "The governor is committed to that and the funding will be there for that."