Alexis Moore, founder of Survivors in Action in Oakland, Ca., is lobbying for more information on federal spending on preventing domestic violence, reports Women’s eNews. Moore, a law student, asserts that she was turned away from a women’s center after she was threatened with abuse even though “they had enough funding to serve me at my most dire time of need.” Since the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994, the federal government has channeled over a billion dollars into organizations that are required to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence. The VAWA Web site posts figures on grants awarded to specific organizations and the amount of each grant, but does not detail how the funds are expected to be spent.
The Muskie School of Public Service, at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, receives all VAWA required reports and disseminates them in the form of data reports and narrative summaries to Congress. However, the reports do not link individual organizations with any specific figures. Instead, they provide overall figures per grant program, such as grants for reducing violent crimes on campuses or grants for education and technical assistance. After President Obama appointed Lynn Rosenthal to the newly created post of White House Advisor on Violence Against Women in June, Moore launched a petitioning effort that begins with a letter to Rosenthal about the need to track public anti-violence funds.