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Domestic and Sexual Violence: Calling on OR Lawmakers for Help

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 By Dondrea Warner/David Law, Contact
March 16, 2007

Domestic violence leads to an estimated 18 deaths every year in Oregon, and about one in six Oregon women have been sexually assaulted. Advocates from across the state were in Salem Thursday for "Domestic and Sexual Violence Day." They're asking lawmakers to help those victims by expanding the Oregon Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Fund. Terrie Quinteros with Crime Survivors for Community Safety reports that nearly 8,000 domestic violence victims had to be turned away from shelters last year.

"If they don't have a safe place to be able to go to, then their only two options are either literally being on the streets or going back into that abusive situation."

Quinteros says without additional money, the fund, which is part of the Department of Justice budget, won't be able to sustain current services for survivors. She notes that in addition to funding shelters for domestic violence victims, the program also helps give sexual assault victims access to counselors.

"These people are experts in what they do, and they're able to really explain to the survivor what their options are and where they can go from here and how they can be safe."

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