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Area agencies react to potential 26% cut to victim services program

The proposed $1.7 million cut to victim services represents a tiny fraction of the overall state budget and a sliver of budget reductions so far this year.

But area agencies say the cut — from a $6.7 million state appropriation to $5 million — would have an outsized impact on survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“I know they’re looking at tough cuts throughout all realms, whether it’s education or victim services or whatever else, but this is a tough one to swallow,” said Carson Eggland, executive director of Helping Services for Youth and Families, which serves seven rural counties in Northeast Iowa.

He’s not alone. Alicia Smiley, Iowa program director at Riverview Center, called the proposed cuts “disheartening.”

“We’re nervous,” Smiley said.

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