Domestic Violence Shelter Closes in Grass Valley
Victims Using Safe Houses in a “Giant Step Backwards” for California
Aug 23, 2010
By: California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
SACRAMENTO, Aug. 23, 2010 – Another California domestic violence shelter has closed permanently, a victim of last year’s devastating budget cuts. The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition of Grass Valley (DVSAC) shut its doors on June 30th, the day last year’s emergency State shelter funding ran out. That brings the total to three shelter facilities that have closed as a result of the Governor’s elimination of State shelter funds in July of 2009.
Rather than leaving domestic violence victims with nowhere to turn, Grass Valley residents, together with the DVSAC staff, have created a system of “safe houses,” in which families open their doors to women and children fleeing violence. The generosity of the safe house operators raises serious questions about public safety and the role of the State.
Tara Shabazz, Executive Director of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, says that this reversion to a safe house system recalls the 1970s, and the time before California’s network of domestic violence shelters was established.
“This is a giant step backward for the state of California,” she said. “It’s shameful to think that private citizens now have to step up to fill the gap left when the State abdicated this responsibility for public safety. The Governor and Legislature owe it to Californians to reach a budget agreement quickly, and fully restore domestic violence funding. We can’t allow what happened in Grass Valley to happen in other communities.”