Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Save Lives

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson called on state legislators to double the appropriation for programs that provide services to the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault saying these programs "save lives."

Edmondson was joined by members of the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at a state capitol press conference yesterday.

Michael McNutt reported this in today's Oklahoman:

Double victim-aid funds, Edmondson urges

Oklahoma needs to nearly double the amount of money it gives to programs providing services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said Tuesday.

With the governor and legislative leaders in a budget dispute, a final budget package should include an additional $3 million for the state's 29 certified domestic violence and sexual assault service providers, he said.

The programs, which cover about half the state's counties, receive about $4 million, Edmondson said. They haven't received a boost in state funding in 13 years, he said. In addition to state funding, most also get money from federal grants, private donations and community support.The programs offer an emergency shelter and emergency transportation as well as 24-hour crisis telephone lines people may call for help, said Marcia Smith, executive director of the Oklahoma Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

"These programs save lives,” Edmondson said.

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