Violence Against Women Act

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Four to six million women are abused each year in the United States.

Victim advocate Wendy Lain deals with these women on a daily basis.

Lain says, "Quiet, very subdued. They put their heads down a lot of the time."

Domestic abuse counselors say without guidance, the cycle may never end.

Counselor Jacquie Green says, "Females in particular have to know that there are support systems out there for them. Without support they are very likely to take this first step."

That's where the Violence Against Women Act comes in. VAWA funds hotlines, shelters and legal services for victims of domestic violence.

District Attorney J. David Miller says, "When these women get into a battering situation and they need to leave home, scoop up the kids and leave in order to be safe, the only place they've got to go are these shelters, and these shelters cannot operate without the VAWA grant."

Even though small towns have a peaceful reputation, domestic violence is a widespread problem that happens here too.

Lain says, "On Monday morning when we get reports from local departments, there's easily 15 to 20 reports after a weekend."

With numbers like that, it's clear Valdosta, along with many other cities, would greatly suffer if they lost VAWA funding.