Friday, December 26, 2014

Follow us:
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to this news feed 


Capital Region

Domestic abuse shelter facing financial insecurity after VAWA expiration

  • Text size: + -
Albany/HV: Domestic abuse shelter facing financial insecurity after VAWA expiration
Play now

Time Warner Cable video customers:
Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips.

out of 10

Free Video Views Remaining

To get you to the stories you care about, we are offering everyone 10 video views per month.

Access to our video is always free for Time Warner Cable video customers who login with their TWC ID.

  To view our videos, you need to
enable JavaScript. Learn how.
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.

Then come back here and refresh the page.

Congress didn't pass the Violence Against Women Act for the new year, shaking funding for many domestic abuse programs. YNN's Madeleine Rivera visited a Pittsfield abuse shelter to find out how it'll be affected.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- On a hill overlooking Pittsfield, the Elizabeth Freeman Center has been a haven for domestic abuse victims for the past thirty years. But now, it's on edge, facing financial uncertainty.

"We're starting from a deficit. If VAWA funding is not approved, we'll lose another $67,000," said Janis Broderick, executive director of the center.

Congress did not authorize the Violence Against Women Act for the new year. The law provided protection for domestic abuse victims, funding programs for them in shelters.

At the Freeman Center, some of these programs include the placement of an advocate at police departments in Pittsfield and Adams. Now, those programs are at risk.

"We don't have the resources here to continue those programs without VAWA funding. We are so bare bones here people," said Broderick.

Congress did not pass VAWA because there was dispute over its extended protections for LGBT victims, undocumented immigrants, and Native Americans. The rejection has been criticized.

"No one should have to live being beaten, raped, or terrified in a domestic terrorist situation," said Broderick.

The failure to pass a new Violence Against Women Act calls into question a $67,000 grant that the Freeman Center was approved for last October. Broderick says she's not sure what the status of this grant will be. But, she does think the timing is unfortunate, especially with the high rate of domestic abuse in Berkshire County.

"The rate of restraining orders in Berkshire County is 37 percent higher than the state average. Domestic violence hasn't decreased over the years," said Broderick.

This is the first time that the bill has not been reauthorized since it was passed in 1994. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP