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July 29, 2011

Domestic Violence Surge Causes Shortage of Shelter Space

by Women's Fund

By: John Tuohy
Indianapolis Star
July 29, 2011

An increase in domestic violence combined with cuts in federal funding has caused a severe shortage of shelter space for battered women and their children in Marion County.

Women's advocates say the overflowing shelters are the worst they've seen in decades. Some shelters are putting women in emergency situations on waiting lists for the first time. Other women and their families are forced to stay for long periods on emergency cots, in group living conditions.

Julie Marsh, chief executive officer of the Domestic Violence Network, said her organization is having a drive to raise $30,000 for local shelters.

She said the money would by hotel rooms for 370 nights for women.

"These funds will go directly to help people in life-threatening situations," Marsh said. "This is a critical issue at a critical stage. We need to help those whop are fleeing domestic violence."

The Women's Fund of Central Indiana has already pledged $10,000, said Jennifer Pope-Baker, executive director.

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