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On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Amid More Severe Domestic Violence Cases, Ohio Advocates Call for More Funding

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Thursday, March 23, 2023   

Ohio's domestic violence shelters provided emergency housing to nearly 10,000 people last year, and advocates are calling for a funding boost.

Providers said they are unable to meet demand, especially for the nearly 73,000 residents seeking counseling, court advocacy and other non-shelter services.

Mary O'Doherty, executive director of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, said the volume of calls and the severity of cases has worsened since the pandemic.

"They are seeing survivors with more severe injuries, survivors describing more lethal situations," O'Doherty observed. "I hear regularly that the calls to our crisis lines are more complicated, are scarier for the advocates who are receiving the calls."

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has allocated $20 million for domestic violence services in his proposed budget, but the funding still needs approval from the state legislature. Dozens of advocates gather in Columbus today for the Ohio Domestic Violence Network's Advocacy Day to meet with lawmakers on the issue.

Last year in Ohio there were more than 80 domestic-violence related homicides, including the deaths of children.

Even with the funding increase, Ohio continues to spend less per capita for domestic violence services than its neighbors, including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana. O'Doherty pointed out investments in services ultimately save taxpayer dollars.

"Those are costs associated with medical care, property damage, law enforcement, emergency response, child protective services, legal fees, and the loss of life of survivors, including end-of-life expenses," O'Doherty outlined.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nationwide the lifetime economic cost associated with medical services, criminal justice, and other costs related to intimate partner violence totals more than $3 trillion.

Disclosure: The Ohio Domestic Violence Network contributes to our fund for reporting on Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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