Advocates working with victims of domestic violence reacted with alarm to President Donald Trump’s first budget blueprint, warning that his proposed cuts could have a devastating impact on vulnerable women across the country.
News Story (NATIONAL)
March 17, 2017
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Tags: Domestic Violence, Funding: Federal
Organizations mentioned/involved: Voices for Civil Justice, Prairie State Legal Services (northern Illinois)
One of the biggest concerns among advocates is Trump’s plan to eliminate funding for Legal Services Corporation, a nonprofit that provides free civil legal assistance for low-income Americans. More than 70 percent of its clients are women, and almost a third of cases closed by local programs involve family law.
Martha Bergmark, the former president of the nonprofit, said that cutting funding would amount to “abandoning women who are trapped in abusive relationships.” Currently, lawyers assist victims in obtaining protective orders, custody and child support. That kind of practical support makes it far easier for victims to have the security and stability to seek safety, she explained.
“Legal help is often the key to escaping dangerous situations,” she said.