Domestic violence service providers in Utah to see funding cuts

Purple flags placed at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Oct. 17, 2020, in recognition of those who are impacted by domestic violence. Domestic violence service providers in Utah will see a significant funding cut to their budgets this year.

Purple flags placed at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Oct. 17, 2020, in recognition of those who are impacted by domestic violence. Domestic violence service providers in Utah will see a significant funding cut to their budgets this year. (Yukai Peng, Deseret News)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Domestic violence service providers in Utah will see a significant funding cut to their budgets this year.

A large chunk of funding grants to Utah domestic violence organizations comes from the Federal Governments Crime Victims Fund, which is significantly lighter this year. This comes on the same day that Utah is mandating officers to carry out lethality assessments on domestic violence calls. Among these service providers seeing cuts is The Refuge Utah.

"We are scrambling right now to look at what is our key priorities," said Ashlee Taylor, executive director of The Refuge Utah. "Overall from our previous VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) award, this award round is a 50% cut for us."

Lethality assessment evaluations predict the likelihood that a domestic violence victim could be injured or even murdered. Taylor said with the budget cuts and newly mandated assessments, The Refuge will be stretched thin.

"We know there's going to be an increase in demand … how do we keep up with that demand with a cut in funding overall," she said.

"That's the double-edged sword," she continued. "If we reach out and let more people know, do we then have the capacity to be able to serve them? So it's hard to try and find that balance of, we want everyone to find our services, but we also what to be able to handle capacity."

The funding comes from fines and fees from white-collar crimes prosecuted at the federal level, which has decreased since 2019. This is reflected in the federal grants The Refuge and other providers can apply for. Additionally, domestic abuse in Utah and across the country has increased.

Domestic violence resources

Help for people in abusive relationships can be found by contacting:

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