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'Say I Do' Campaign: Drop in marriage licenses means less funding for domestic violence survivors

Posted at 11:44 AM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 17:11:29-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) and the Nevada Coalition of END Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCEDSV) are working together to bring awareness to the decrease in funding in Nevada’s domestic violence service providers.

On June 26, the “Say I Do” campaign asks individuals for donations to give back to Las Vegas area domestic service providers, due to the 87% decrease in marriage licenses.

Ross Armstrong, administrator of DCFS, said in a press release:

Nevada’s victim service providers work each and every day to help survivors find a path forward; they are facing increased need and reduced resources.

It is critical that we rise to this challenge, harness all the resources within our power, and act. Victim service providers support survivors at a critical time, we must do the same as a state for these service providers. The money you donate on June 26th could help save a life.

The Account for Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence, funded by a portion of the fees from marriage licenses, is seeing a sharp monetary decline due to COVID-19.

As Nevada’s wedding industry has been driven by those who travel to Nevada to get married. The closure of wedding venues and decreased wedding travel have reduced the sales of marriage licenses to an all-time low.

Executive Director of the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence Sue Meuschke said:

Marriage license funding was established in 1982 to provide base funding for local domestic violence programs, this funding is in jeopardy as are the life-saving services it funds.

While many of us have stayed home to stay safe, home is not safe for everyone.

The money raised this month and all year-round will help survivors of domestic violence escape dangerous situations.

Some of Nevada’s domestic violence programs report a 65% increase in calls to their hotlines.

Visit ncedsv.org/IDoNV to find a list of providers and how to donate.

Victims and individuals can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.779.7233 or RAINN at 1.800.656.4673 to seek help.