Congressman hopes to assist domestic violence shelters

Domestic violence continues to be a large issue that too many people suffer from throughout the country. The state of Missouri takes domestic violence very seriously, and even though our state has taken great strides to help victims of domestic violence, there is always more that can be done. In fact, it sometimes seems that as hard as we fight to help domestic violence, there continues to be an increase in domestic violence issues.

Missouri is proud to offer domestic violence shelters to provide sanctuary to victims who have suffered abuse at home, but unfortunately resources are limited. In the last four years, one such shelter has had to turn away more than four-thousand people total because there simply were not enough beds for all of the victims. It is likely that other shelters are suffering from a similar lack of resources, which could mean that tens of thousands of people have been unable to escape from their abuse because of lack of funding.

At least one member of Congress has noticed the issue and has vowed to tackle it to the best of his ability. State representative Billy Long recently met with some members from a domestic violence task force to discuss the situation and how it could be dealt with. Long’s intention was to learn how he could better advocate for domestic violence victims at a federal level, but unfortunately he said that he could not promise much financial support from Washington.

There is currently talk about releasing funds from Crime Victims Funds to offer some assistance, but Long claims he is committed to finding a more permanent, long-term solution to the lack of funding and resources for Missouri domestic violence shelters. Unfortunately there is not much quantifiable assistance coming in the immediate future, but perhaps this is the first step toward a better chance for domestic violence survivors across our state.

Source: News-Leader, “Rep. Billy Long vows to make domestic violence a priority,” Jackie Rehwald, May 8, 2015

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