The government shutdown has blocked funding to programs providing protection and economic stability to survivors of domestic violence. Diana Brown and Cato Kraft of Estes Valley Crisis Associates in Colorado explain what the lack of resources means for the population they support. Meanwhile, TSA announced the rate of unscheduled employee absences on Sunday was nearly triple its level last year.
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Many survivors of domestic violence rely on government-funded programs to keep them safe and financially stable in times of crisis.
The U.S. Justice Department oversees a number of federal grants that support state and local domestic violence shelters. Two of those programs fall under laws known as the Violence Against Women Act, which administers federal grants to organizations that protect victims of domestic abuse and stalking, and the Victims of Crime Act, which provides federal support to state and local programs that house and assist victims of domestic violence.
Now that the standoff over a current spending bill has cut off Justice Department funds, organizations that rely on those monies are in flux, saving as much of their current reserves as possible, since reimbursements from the federal government are no longer guaranteed.
We spoke with Diana Brown and Cato Kraft, who operate Estes Valley crisis advocates in Estes Park, Colorado, near Denver. It's the only domestic violence shelter in the area.
They shared their concerns as the shutdown continues.
I guess one of the biggest concerns for us is that we were researching and trying to apply for funds to replace the heating. We have got an older building, and the heater is not good. It's going to go out any time. And those funds are frozen.
So, we hope that we're not going to get faced with that.
Yes. We do operate a nine-bed shelter. And if it was an option where the furnace did go out,then we would have to find a different location for all of our people.
And the shutdown also continues to impact some travelers.
The Transportation Security Administration announced yesterday that the agency experienced a national rate of 10 percent of unscheduled employee absences. That's one out of 10 employees, compared to just 3.1 percent on the same day last year. Many employees are reporting that they are not able to come to work due to financial limitations.
While national average wait times are within normal ranges, according to TSA, some airports experienced longer-than-usual wait times.