Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Advocacy Days in Washington D.C.

I recently had the privilege to participate in the annual Advocacy Days sponsored by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) in Washington, D.C.

NNEDV organizes this annual event to educate advocates on new legislation and the needs across the country. We then carry a common message to Capitol Hill when we meet with our elected officials.

Our message was simple: programs are in dire need. More money is needed to meet the ever increasing needs of those impacted by domestic violence. People are being hurt and killed every day and we must do something to help those programs that are working with the survivors.

In Missouri, more women were turned away than were served last year. For every two women served, three were turned away. The demand for services is increasing and the resources to serve them are decreasing. We shared many stories and the frustration of not being able to do more to help those in need.

There was much discussion about how we can increase the money in such a very tight economy, when so many are suffering. This fact is clearly understood by those of us working with survivors. Thanks to NNEDV’s work, we were able to clearly talk about strategies and ways that this can be done.

I left D.C. with appreciation for the hard decisions that our elected officials have to make every day in prioritizing needs. I hope that we will be able to have the necessary resources to do our work and to help the thousands of people that are impacted by domestic violence every year.

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