Domestic violence advocates, survivors concerned about President Trump’s budget blueprint

DENVER -- Domestic violence advocates and survivors are concerned about the future of Colorado's programs after seeing President Donald Trump's budget blueprint Thursday.

In the budget blueprint, the Department Health and Human Services' funding would be reduced by 18 percent. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act falls under the HHS umbrella.

FVPSA provides almost all the federal funding for domestic violence programs in Colorado.

Lydia Waligorski, the public policy director for Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said Colorado is one of 13 states that doesn't provide state funding to domestic violence programs.

It means these programs depend on federal funding to keep shelter doors open.

"It's probably 80 to 90 percent of our budgets," Waligorski said.

Waligorski said advocates have concerns that as HHS funding is slashed by 18 percent, all programs under it will be squeezed under the budget constraints.

"When we block off resources for low-income families by these big, across-the-board cuts, we are really keeping people in violent relationships sometimes because they relay on those services," Waligorski said.

Melody Morgans said she was the victim of emotional abuse and in 2010, the abuse turned physical.

"My head went through the wall. I was strangled. I was beaten in front of my kids," Morgans said.

At the time, she didn't know where to go or what to do. She felt trapped in the relationship so she stayed, only to endure more abuse. Local domestic violence services finally offered her an escape.

"Without that, I think I would have stayed in an abuse relationship and I might have been dead," she said.

Now she said it's imperative that these programs continue to receive the funding they need.

"I am sacred. I am scared for the future victims of crimes coming up," Morgans said. "Without these services, there is no hope for the future victims."