|Updated: 3/06 10:54 pm
||Published: 3/06 10:45 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - As lawmakers move forward with the sequester, Arkansas advocates for victims of domestic violence brace themselves for devastating cuts.
"It's only by grace of God that I'm here," says Jajaun Legate.
Grateful to be alive, Legate shares how she felt in 2011, trying to distance herself from her dangerous ex-boyfriend. He kidnapped her at gunpoint twice. The second time, she defended herself by firing her own gun in what authorities determined was justifiable homicide.
"If I can impact someone, help someone get out of a situation, maybe it won't end up in a situation like mine, the horrible tragedy, terrible ending," she says.
Due to funding cuts there may soon be fewer places for victims to turn.
"It looks as though resources will be extremely limited especially in rural areas," says Rebecca Riley.
Rebecca Riley is a coordinator for Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She says organizations are funded through the state Domestic Peace fund. All of the money comes from marriage license and bail bond fees and there has been a 30 percent drop since 2010, forcing two shelters to close.
"They provide the opportunity and provide hope for victims reaching out for the first time," says Riley.
Riley says organizations may be forced to cut shelter hours, transportation and even employees, putting safety further out of reach for people finally getting the courage to get out.
Legate says, "These employees are advocates for some of these women, they help them get the phone, get the car ride, get the clothes they need to move forward in their lives."
ACADV is encouraging civic groups to consider supporting domestic violence advocavy groups to make up for all the funding they're losing through the domestic peace fund and sequestration.
The coalition is also holding sessions to teach service providers how to raise money within their communities.