For the 10th annual year, on September 16, 2015 the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) conducted a one-day unduplicated count of adults and children seeking domestic violence service in the United States. This census documents the number of individuals who sought services in a single 24-hour period.
On that day in North Dakota there were 14 unmet requests for services. Programs reported, that in addition to housing and emergency shelter, services they were unable to provide were legal representation and financial assistance.
“The demand for services remains steady. The need for safe, accessible emergency and long shelter for victims and their children has and will continue to be our priority. Without that many victims are left with two choices homelessness or staying in the violent relationship.” said Janelle Moos, CAWS North Dakota’s Executive Director.
In North Dakota there was 19 staff positions eliminated in the past year. All of these positions were direct services, such as shelter or legal advocates. In 2014, 11 staff positions were eliminated.
Across the country, there were 12,197 unmet requests for services on that day, of which 63% were for housing. The most frequently requested nonresidential services that could not be provided were housing advocacy, legal representation and financial assistance. This is an increase from last year’s 10,871 unmet requests for services.
According to NNEDV, the increased attention to domestic violence across the country has led to an increase in demand for victim services. At the same time, many of these programs are experiencing stagnant or reduced funding, which limits their ability to serve more victims.
“Victims and their children are the ones who suffer the consequences when services are not available, and often have no choice but to return to the abuse. Again and again in the Census responses, we read about a survivor who needed help but couldn’t get it. It is simply unacceptable for victims to be turned away at their time of greatest risk,” said Kim Gandy, NNEDV President and CEO.
In the 24-hour survey period in the United States there were 71,828 victims served and 21,332 local and state hotline calls answered by staff.
In North Dakota 300 victims were served on this day. A total of 129 domestic violence victims (65 children and 64 adults) found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by local domestic violence programs. There were 171 adults and children who received non-residential assistance and services, including counseling, legal advocacy and children’s support groups, as well as 95 hotline calls answered.
According to NNEDV, out of 1,894 identified domestic violence programs in the United States 1,752 participated in the 2015 National Census of Domestic Violence Services. In North Dakota 20 out of 20 identified local domestic violence programs participated.
For more information about these statistics or the complete count, go to nnedv.org/census.