Prioritize Meaningful Investment In Critically Underfunded Domestic Violence Services

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The needs of victims of domestic violence in New York are significant, and now is the time to affirm our collective commitment to ending domestic violence by investing in these vital programs. No one asking for shelter or other domestic violence services should ever be turned away for lack of resources. Quite simply, if we are not able to reach this goal, preventable tragedies that are happening across our state will continue.


The preliminary 2015 New York Domestic Violence Census[1]  numbers are staggering. On the day of the 2015 Census 97% of domestic violence programs in our state participated, yielding startling results: New York State is now #1 in the country regarding demand for domestic violence services. Here are just a few of the numbers:

  • In one day, 6,950 victims were served, of which 3,239 received non-residential services
  • 956 requests for services went unmet, because of critical funding and staffing shortages
  • 148 individual service options for survivors were reduced or eliminated
  • 115 staff positions, most of which were direct service advocates, were reduced or eliminated

In light of these astounding numbers, we ask that the Governor and Legislature provide significant investment in domestic violence services in the FY 2016-2017 New York State budget as follows:

1. Help shore up long standing gaps in operational funding as a result of flat or reduced state investment by:

  • Providing $6 million in TANF funding for non-residential domestic violence services; and
  • Providing  at least a 3% increase in the domestic violence shelter per diem rate.

2. Create a primary prevention funding stream for domestic violence services in New York by establishing a $17.25 million fund in the public protection budget that will be dispersed through coordinated support to NYSCADV and local domestic violence programs statewide. Research has shown the cost of a single homicide can be well over $17.25 million - we are requesting funds at this level to demonstrate New York State’s commitment to preventing far-reaching tragedies of domestic violence homicides in the coming years[2].

3. Restore and increase funding for critical civil legal services for domestic violence victims statewide in order to address the high demand for civil legal services by survivors of domestic violence.

4. Provide $4.5 million in funding for local domestic violence programs to provide support to colleges and universities that the recent Enough Is Enough campus policy mandates for stalking and domestic violence services (to compliment  the $4.5 million already provided in support for rape crisis programs for sexual assault prevention).


[1] National Network to End Domestic Violence (2015) Domestic Violence Counts – DRAFT New York Summary.

[2] Delisi, Kosloski, Sween, et. al. 2010. Murder by Numbers: Monetary Costs Imposed by a Sample of Homicide Offenders. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology. 21(4). P 501-503.