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Advocates Say Gov. Newsom’s Budget Leaves Out Funding For Sexual And Domestic Violence Prevention

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Advocacy groups claim California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget proposal leaves out funding for sexual and domestic violence prevention.

The Upshot: In 2018, the state allocated $10 million in one-time funding for prevention services. Last year, it set aside $5 million. The funds are allocated as grants to community-based organizations.

The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence and California Coalition Against Sexual Assault are asking Newsom to include $15 million in ongoing annual funding for prevention efforts. They claim the current proposed budget would revert prevention funding to the previous ongoing amount of $45,000 per year.

The Newsom administration disputes this claim. They argue the proposed budget sets aside $1.8 million in funding for sexual and domestic violence programs, with the majority of it supporting rape crisis centers.

What Advocate Are Saying: “What happens when you’ve spent the last year developing a prevention program with a community, with a coach, at a school? What do you say to that community when you take that prevention program away? [We’re saying] that healthy relationships don’t matter.” — Alejandra Aguilar, program specialist at The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence

The Governor’s Response: “The Governor is committed to ensuring victims of sexual and domestic violence have the resources and support they need. In fact, this year’s budget proposal has a total investment of $1.8 million in ongoing funding to support these programs. The Administration will continue to work with the Legislature, as well as community leaders and partners to continue supporting victim resources now and in the future.” — Vicky Waters, press secretary for Gov. Gavin Newsom

What’s Next: Advocates say they will continue to negotiate with the governor’s office and the Legislature to secure ongoing funding for prevention programs. 

Copyright 2020 Capital Public Radio