REMINDER: These cuts are NOT coming as a result of our state legislators! Our state reps and federal delegation have always and continue to be strong advocates and steadfast funders of victim services programs. This public testimony push is to let our state reps understand the full effects of a two-year federal decrease in funding and ask them to cover this short-term deficit with state general funds.
REMINDER: If you are sharing your testimony over the phone, you are restricted to two minutes. Please practice and time yourself so you don’t get cut off.
Thank you for this opportunity to testify today. My name is ________ and I am representing myself today as a member of the _(your town/village/etc.)_ community and a supporter of Tundra Women’s Coalition.
Thank you to Representative Merrick and the Department of Public Safety subcommittee for their work to fully fund victim services through the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Unfortunately, we just learned that federal funding for life-saving advocacy and shelter services for victims and survivors is being cut by 34% starting in FY2022. This will have devastating impacts for Tundra Women’s Coalition and for survivors of domestic violence across Alaska. Crime victims should not be expected to bear the brunt of these cuts.
(Please feel free to add anything specific- if you have personal experience with TWC and feel comfortable talking about it, here is the place. If you would like to mention some of TWC’s life-saving services, check out our most recent annual report for stats and program information.)
We are reaching out to you to let you know that this is happening now. I volunteer/work at/support/etc. Tundra Women’s Coalition and see firsthand the importance these life-saving supports offered to victims. Please help us in Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta by finding a solution to this crisis before the end of session.
Consider allocating state general funds to cover the gap created by the VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) shortfall.
Alaska continues to have some of the highest rates of sexual and domestic violence, including violence against children. Now is not the time to cut lifesaving services to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Thank you for your consideration.