"If cuts hadn't been made...I would have a domestic violence shelter to send her to."
Emergency room social worker Elizabeth Oaksmith is often the first to find out about patients in dangerous situations. In her position, Elizabeth, an SEIU Healthcare 1199NW member, helps connect patients to the social services they need. For victims of domestic violence and other patients in vulnerable situations, these services can be lifesavers.
If Congress allows automatic spending cuts to go into effect on March 1, domestic violence programs funded by the Violence Against Women Act would lose more than $20 million. These cuts would prevent 35,927 victims of violence in the United States from accessing lifesaving services and resources, including shelter, legal services and children's services, according to the Department of Justice.
Watch Elizabeth's story about how budget cuts harm victims of violence:
The sequester also includes cuts that would keep 34,248 police, prosecutors, judges and victim advocates from receiving proper training they need to respond to domestic violence incidents.