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Programs for Iowa sexual abuse victims scrambling amid budget cuts

Person consoling someone in distress

Three statewide programs that provide assistance to victims of sexual abuse are being eliminated or severely cut because of recent reductions in state and federal funding, and many more regional organizations are scrambling to limit the impact of reduced funding.

Advocates fear the program cuts will leave victims of sexual abuse without critical assistance.

“It’s a huge concern to us because every program that’s losing its funding is serving an active client base,” said Kerri True-Funk, associate director of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

The Iowa Legislature this year approved a 22.4 percent decrease in state funding to victim assistance grants, or $1.5 million, which help fund many programs across the state.

The state budget increased by just more than one-tenth of 1 percent for the fiscal year that starts July 1, and many departments were forced to reduce their spending.

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