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Thursday, Sep. 11, 2008 at 10:51 AM
Women who have been victims of domestic violence or human trafficking could be the latest victim's of the state's budget stalemate. The budget deadlock threatens a women's shelter that's giving them refuge.
By Subha Ravindhran
For years, one woman says she and her three boys were stuck in an abusive relationship.
"I didn't know how to feel, I couldn't make decisions for myself," said the woman, who asked to remain unidentified. "I was always told what to do and when to do it. And I had no freedom."
Two years ago, she and her children escaped and have since been staying at the Women's Transitional Living Center in Orange County. Her life is finally back on track, but now she, along with more than 120 women and children that live there, may soon be out on the streets.
"We've been really trying to trim down our operational costs," said shelter director Rocio Watson. "What has worsened the situation now is the budget not passing, and us getting word from Sacramento that the funding that was promised to us will not be coming in through our doors until the budget passes."
State officials tell Eyewitness News Tuesday that without a budget, they have no legal authority to bail out this shelter. They say there are scores of state programs like this in the same position.
The shelter has until the end of the month to raise nearly 0,000. If they don't, these victims will soon have to find another place to live. Many of them will have no choice but to return to their abusers.
"They're either going to have to pay to send the police out to arrest the abusers and pay the hospital bills of the women that go to the hospital, or help pay to bury them, if they do not just have a heart and sign the budget," said the unidentified woman.
Thursday, this shelter will be holding an emergency fundraiser to raise as much money as they can. They're hoping people will donate even as little as a person to help them out.
Donations can be sent to: Women's Transitional Living Center P.O. Box 6103 Orange, CA 92863 www.wtlc.org
Emergency Fundraiser being held Wednesday, 9/10/08, at 5 p.m. Bourbon Street Restaurant
110 E. Commonwealth Ave. Fullerton, CA 92832
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