The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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Opinion

March 2, 2013

We must help those victimized by abuse

CLINTON — Clinton has been asked to help subsidize the YWCA Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Resource Center, which aids victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who have no where else to turn.

The request comes because state funding for the center has been cut.

The YWCA has determined each surrounding city's “fair share” of the center's operating cost based on how many of their local residents are being served. 

Clinton is being asked to contribute $53,000, or roughly one-half of the shortfall. Most of the surrounding communities whose residents have used the DVAS center have agreed to pay their “fair share” of this shortfall.

When, as a community, we are deciding where our tax dollars are spent, the priority should be to help the most vulnerable among us. Allocating $53,000 to protect and care for women and children who have experienced the cruelty of abuse within their families and have no resources to remove themselves from this abuse is supporting our own citizens.

This shelter helps the victims gain the confidence and hope necessary to rebuild a better life for themselves and their families. The DVAS Resource Center is the first step on that journey.  We have a responsibility to offer them security and solace in their struggles.

With our state government cutting funding for these essential programs and planning to close all but four of these shelters in our state, we all have a responsibility to contact our state lawmakers with calls and letters asking them to restore the level of state funding given to these shelters throughout the state. 

Ask our legislators to cease plans to regionalize such shelters.  Included in this plan is the directive that children taken to these “Regional Centers” must be bused to their original hometown schools.   

The price tag for such a plan will cripple our cities.  If we have a budget surplus as reported,  what better use than helping fund our local shelters?

Weigh carefully the desperate needs of these vulnerable children and their parents and act today to assist in their care.

The Prince of Peace Pax Christi Board,

Sallyann and Bob Mc Carthy; Fr. Ken Kuntz; Dick and Nancy Roberts; Deacon Art Donart, Ph.D; Sr. Anne Martin OSF; Sr. Joan Theiss OSF; Tom and Nancy Streveler; Sr. Teresa Kunkel; Sandy Jacobs; Arnie and Pat Outzen; Gabriela and Louis Egging

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