Officials to discuss victim services and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women ActThe North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services (NDCAWS) will host roundtable discussions next week with U.S. Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) and Senate candidates Heidi Heitkamp and Duane Sand about victim services in North Dakota, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization.
The North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services (NDCAWS) will host roundtable discussions next week with U.S. Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) and Senate candidates Heidi Heitkamp and Duane Sand about victim services in North Dakota, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization.
Berg will meet with directors of the 21 crisis centers in the state at 2:45 p.m. Monday. Heitkamp will meet with them at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, and Sand will meet them at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, all at the Comfort Suites in Bismarck, N.D.
NDCAWS Executive Director Janelle Moos said starting dialogue about the real impact of federal funding on victim services in North Dakota is vital and starts by providing space for directors of crisis center programs and policymakers to share information and ask questions.
“By connecting with Rep. Berg, Heidi Heitkamp, and Duane Sand, directors can give a sense of the services provided, the needs of victims, and the importance of federal funding, specifically VAWA, in providing services to victims,” Moos said.
Nearly half of the 21 crisis intervention centers depend on VAWA for at least 25% of their funding. Fourteen centers provide services to multiple counties, requiring more staff and resources to effectively serve victims of sexual and domestic violence. For example, one center serving seven counties receives more than 40% of its funding from VAWA.
In total, eight crisis intervention centers receive between 10-24% of their funding from VAWA.
VAWA funding is incredibly important to direct services for Native Americans, who are almost three times as likely to experience sexual assault crimes compared to all other races.
One in three Native American women reports having been raped during her lifetime. Three tribal programs, making a difference for underserved people on our state’s reservations, receive almost all of their funding from VAWA and wouldn’t exist without it.