Last week, Council adopted a resolution signaling that it’s thinking about giving more funds to domestic violence services in the next budget.
It will authorize a Council committee to hold hearings on the availability of the city’s only domestic violence shelter, Women Against Abuse. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said he introduced the resolution in order to start a conversation about dealing with the shelter’s lack of space, which could include providing more funds to domestic violence services.
In recent years, the city and state have slashed funding to the shelter. Meanwhile, because it doesn’t have enough space, Women Against Abuse has been forced to turn away more and more domestic violence victims looking for cover each year.
According to Women Against Abuse, nearly 8,000 requests for shelter were turned down last year — which is up from about 1,700 in 2008.
This year, the state cut human services funding by more than $168 million, which could also be of consequence to Women Against Abuse.
Johnson said he sees domestic violence as a serious public safety issue. He added that he is “just appalled” that there is only one domestic violence shelter in Philadelphia.
Mayor Nutter is scheduled to give his budget address on March 8, according to PhillyClout, and Council will hold public hearings on the budget afterward.