ELLSWORTH — Funding is endangered for The Next Step Domestic Violence Project, which provides services to those affected by domestic violence in Hancock and Washington counties, as it enters its 20th year.
The Next Step relies on the federal government’s Violence Against Women Act to fund half its operations budget, said Executive Director Rebecca Hobbs. However, Congress failed to reauthorize funding for the Violence Against Women Act before it expired at the end of 2012, even though it’s always had strong bipartisan support, according to Hobbs.
“It is significant for us,” Hobbs said.
There is a chance that the funding will come through if someone is rebuilding the act, she said.
The other half of The Next Step’s operations budget comes from fund raising and the United Way.
But, the failure of Congress to reauthorize the bill is about much more than money.
“I think it’s really important that we as a larger community acknowledge the fact that there’s still a problem,” Hobbs said. “Not just because of the money but what that says about our priorities.”
The Next Step Domestic Violence Project
2012 Service by the Numbers:
Crisis/hotline calls: 2,852
Face to Face contacts: 1,585
Education/Awareness presentations: 1,974 hours
Total number clients served: 1,093
Hotline number: (800) 315-5579
The 20th annual Chocolate Fest and Silent Auction
Feb. 9, 3 to 5 p.m.
The Lucerne Inn
Suggested donation: $10