“The demand for services has always been high and continues to be high,” Kelly Miller, Executive Director of Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, told Boise Weekly.
The report, titled "Domestic Violence Counts 2014," indicates 189 victims of domestic violence found some form of refuge at emergency shelters or transitional housing and 325 received non-residential services from counseling, legal advocacy, children’s support groups or other programs.
The analysis also points to what it calls Idaho's failure to shore up domestic violence services. In the past year, 22 staff positions from such services were eliminated—most which were direct services such as shelter or legal advocacy. The NNEDV survey of a 24-hour period in Sept. 2014 indicated more than 125 requests for housing were not filled because programs did not have adequate resources. In addition to reduced staffing, some programs reported reduced government and private funding as a significant roadblock to providing assistance.
The ICASDV says gender violence disproportionately affects girls, women and people who are transgender and gender-nonconforming. There is also a more significant affect in communities that experience other forms of oppression such as poverty, racism or homophobia.
Miller told BW that in Idaho and across the country, strides can be made to improve services, especially in marginalized communities.
“Bilingual advocates are just so critical to these life-saving services,” she said. “We have to look at individuals in the entirety of their lived experience. So from that lens, I think we still have a bunch of work to do.”