It is important to note that the plan has been developed over many years and is now being released during a funding crisis. The critical federal funding sources programs rely upon for DV and SA services have been drastically cut. Programs expect reductions in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding over the next few years, which could have devastating consequences in Wisconsin.
The impacts could be particularly harmful for SA services, which are funded at significantly lower levels when compared to DV services. When given the choice of funding DV or SA, dual programs commonly prioritize DV.
Funding challenges also exist at the state level, related to DCF Basic Services Grant. In 2022, DCF made a change to the Basic Services Grant funding stream by switching from a guaranteed funding allocation to a competitive process. Many mainstream DV programs reliably received this funding without competing with other programs in a typical grant process. Relatively newer and often culturally specific programs did not receive this funding.
Switching to a competitive grant process meant that all programs in Wisconsin were able to apply for the Basic Services Grant for the first time. This rebalance was long due; however, the total funding distribution for programs did not change. These events further highlight what we’ve known for decades in this movement: there is not enough funding to meet the basic needs of DV and SA survivors in Wisconsin.