Corbett seeks $2.2 million increase for domestic violence programs

Gov. Corbett today said he wants to boost funding for domestic violence and rape crisis programs by $2.2 million in the 2014-2015 budget.

"I'm calling for an increase because I understand these programs are not simple line items, they change and save lives," said Corbett at a news conference.

Corbett, who is set to make his budget address on Feb. 4, said additional funding would bring the total to $15.3 million, representing a 10 percent increase over the prior year and be used to support emergency services, such as a 24/7 hotline, emergency shelter and financial aid and victim advocacy.

In 2012, there were 110 victims killed in domestic violence incidents in Pennsylvania, more than half of the cases involved a firearm. The figure is the lowest it has been since 2008, but the numbers are still shocking, said the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence in a press release.

"This indispensible funding will assist those who have experienced domestic violence and help them to survive, recover and resume their lives, said Peg Dierkers, executive director of the coalition, which represents 60 community-based programs.

More than 30,000 people were served by these programs last year, including men women and children. Dierkers said as a result of funding cuts, 5,000 individuals statewide were unable to be served last year. She said the additional funding will help ensure all women who need services can get help.

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