Lafayette

Mar 26, 2013 7:05 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

$1.4 M In Cuts Proposed To Domestic Violence Services

New state budget cuts could create big problems for domestic violence shelters across Louisiana.

The Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services is proposing to cut $1.4 million from domestic violence services.

Just three months ago, the Jindal administration cut $1 million. Added together, that's 38% of their budget.

Places like Faith House in Lafayette are concerned what further cuts could mean for its services. Marja Broussard is also concerned. She's a survivor of domestic violence, and thanks places like Faith House for being there for her family.

"We utilized the services at Faith House, you know, to come out of a horrible situation," Marja Broussard said.

Faith House is one of 18 domestic violence service providers in Louisiana facing substantial budget cuts, which ultimately mean cuts to its services.

"Without the money more women would probably stay in domestic violence relationships. I would think there would be an increase of women injured, increase of women being killed, children being affected," Broussard said.

Faith House's budget was cut by a $124,000 in December, and it's lost two child advocates. Now there are only four covering seven parishes.

"So we're having to stop doing a lot of things we were doing before. We did cut our food budget here at the shelter as well. So while we do have food available it's a limited amount of food," Crystal Scrantz, Program Director for Faith House, said.

The first round of cuts have already made an impact at Faith House. It's had to cut down on services and maintenance projects including improvements to its playground. It's concerned what the next round of cuts could mean.

"This cut is not a done deal yet. I firmly believe that if the legislators knew how much our community supports these services that maybe those cuts won't happen," Scrantz said.

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