County budget spares domestic violence prevention programs

The King County budget ax will not cut back programs that prevent violence against women and families with children, according to a proposal by the Metropolitan King County Budget Leadership Team.

After hearing painful personal testimonies from survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault at four public hearings, the county budget team announced Wednesday it has reprioritized funds in its 2010 budget proposal to fully restore programs that prevent violence against women and families with children at 2009 levels.

“Every year we are reminded of the vital role public input has on our budget process,” said Council Budget Chair Larry Gossett. “Compelling stories from the survivors of abuse and the agencies that help them escape started at our first public hearing in Bellevue and continued throughout our budget deliberations. These are programs that literally save lives, we could not let them end.”

The full County Council is set to adopt the 2010 King County Budget on Monday.

Budget Vice Chair Jane Hague said the choice to continue to fund these life-saving human service programs was easy.

"Violence against women and children knows no social boundaries," Hague said.

The Councilmembers said the revised county budget, which was released today, will restore nearly $1.4 million in dedicated and general funds for programs for the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault, and for legal aid programs that help survivors obtain restraining orders and navigate the judicial system.

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