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Spotlight on Missouri

Nov 21, 2008

More than two in five Missouri domestic and sexual violence programs (42 percent) had an operating deficit in 2006, and the average deficit for these programs was $34,886. These deficits largely resulted from decreased or stagnant grant funding, increased operating expenses (higher utilities, gas, insurance and the costs to help women establish safe new homes) and more requests for services. That is according to Funding Needs, a new fiscal survey released by the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence (MOCADSV).

Eighty-five percent of programs said they did not have enough staff to meet the community’s needs. Insufficient staff size, staff burn out, and inadequate salaries were among the greatest challenges facing programs in the sate.

“Limited funding has forced us to learn to provide quality services in the most cost-effective ways but has also restricted us from expanding to more creative and empowering services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence,” wrote a program leader from southeast Missouri. “Each new service seems to come at a cost to those already in existence.”

A central Missouri program leader wrote, “The biggest challenge, as always, is maintaining quality services when staff are overworked and underpaid. The number of victims served by our agency has more than tripled in the past five years, and the agency is finding it more and more challenging to meet the service needs in our area without receiving additional funding for more staff.”

Missouri domestic violence programs reported needing an additional $7,868,000 to meet the need of all domestic violence victims, and sexual assault programs reported needing an additional $1,843,700.

In October 2007, MCADSV surveyed domestic and sexual violence service providers statewide about their fiscal needs. 52 of the 68 programs completed the survey, a response rate of 76 percent. For more information, visit www.mocadsv.org.

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