West Virginia organizations worry about federal funding

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CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) – The Violence Against Women Act has been in place since 1994. Since then the act has provided more than $6 billion in grant funding nationwide, including funding to many programs here in West Virginia.

The YWCA’s Alicia McCormick Homes are ten transitional housing apartments for women and children who are moving toward completely independent lives after overcoming domestic abuse. It is the Kanawha Valley’s first transitional housing program for women and their children.

The program is assisted with revenue generated by the YWCA Past & Present Gently Used Clothing Store. Other than that little source of income, the program relies exclusively on the Violence Against Women Act for funding. 

Kyla Nichols is the Executive Director of the Alicia McCormick Homes. 

“This funding is crucial to us. People don’t realize how important these programs are unless they have had a personal experience with domestic abuse, dating violence, or stalking. These really are life and death situations.” 

The Violence Against Women Act must be renewed every few years by Congress. Last week, the House approved a bill that would reauthorize the act for the 4th time. Now, that bill heads to the Senate, but not without controversy. 

In what is being called the “Boyfriend Loop,” the bill included new provisions that expand law enforcement’s ability to strip domestic abusers of their guns, because of this provision, the house version faced severe opposition from the NRA. Despite that, the measure passed by more than 100 votes. 

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