Domestic violence resource center fears sequester cuts

8:19 PM, Jul 9, 2013   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Organizations that support people in the throes of crisis are wondering what if the sequester cuts stick? What will they do if they cannot afford to help people they way they used to. Who will miss out? Those groups are looking at making some very hard decisions.

Spruce Run is a domestic violence resource center. Last year some 1,200 people that either called their hotline or came into the center looking for help in handling an abusive relationship. That number is 6% higher than the year before. But while the number of people needing help continues to rise, budget cuts may make help harder to find.

Spruce run is looking at a 12%-15% cut in its budget, but it could be even higher.  

"There are a lot of things that are unknown for budgets for next year and so we are kind of just keeping our fingers crossed that it's not going to get any worse," said Amanda Cost, Spruce Run Community Response Coordinator.    

But budget cuts are nothing new to the resource center...    

"Two and a half years ago we had to close down our Lincoln outreach office because of federal funding cuts. We have cut our community response and prevention programming staff from four and a half staff people to one and a half staff people and when we heard about sequestration its just like my goodness what more can we take," said Cost.  

Spruce Run says fortunately it hasn't had to cut any programs, but the victims are feeling the impact.

"We're hoping that the impact will be minimal and we'll be able to deal with it internally. We really are stretched right now and it is forcing us to be with the people we need to the most even less," said Cost.

Effects of another budget cut could mean less access to Spruce Runs temporary shelter, which provides a temporary place to stay for those trying to escape domestic violence. It could also mean fewer people going to court to help victims fill out protection of abuse orders. So the center is issuing a call to action.

"We're asking our supporters to reach out to our delegation and say, 'Hey do you know what the sequestration could mean for victims of domestic violence? What the decrease in funding could mean for safety of families in Maine?'," said Cost.

In an effort to avoid a cut that could put victims of domestic violence in a greater danger.

Spruce Run is constantly applying for grants but with the number of non profits there are, those are very competitive. The group is always accepting donations, and if you would like the help them out, there are a few ways that you can do so. You can donate right through their website at, or you can mail a check to them by sending it to P.O. BOX 653, Bangor, Maine 04402. Or you can simply drop off a donation at the resource center located on the corner of State and Essex Streets in Bangor. They say anything helps.

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