Domestic violence bill could affect local refuge centers - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Domestic violence bill could affect local refuge centers

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LEWISBURG, W. Va (WVVA)-- Senators Manchin and Rockefeller co-sponsored a bill to pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA).

The legislation would ensure continued funding to victim service centers like the Family Refuge Center in Lewisburg, all around the country.

The bill passed in the Senate 78-22 and now it's heading over to the House of Representatives.

Experts say it would fill in gaps that the previous VAWA left out-- including more grant opportunities for providing legal assistance, counseling and other services for victims, as well as more funding to enforce protection orders.

Without this extra funding, local refuge centers would suffer.

"We would lose a significant portion of our staff," said Bill Turner, the Executive Director of the Family Refuge Center. "And victim service would suffer in this area."

Bill and his coworkers hope the bill passes. Their center serves the Pocohontas, Monroe, and Greenbrier areas.

Paula Boothe told WVVA the center helped save her life.

"I was in a really terrible [abusive] relationship," she said, "And if it wasn't for the funding from these services, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be here today.

Bill said, "It's really a moral responsibility [for legislators] to put some government assistance behind those who need it the most."
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