Compassionate Conservatives Eliminate Domestic Violence Funding

by Shaker Moderator Aphra_Behn

[Trigger warning for domestic violence]

You remember Georgia's Nathan Deal, he of the homophobic campaign ads and stinktastic record on women's issues. Well, he won the Governor's seat, and so did a whole bunch of GOPeople, so many that the Republicans control both Houses of the GA Legislative Assembly. Now they have to make tough decisions about the budget (when they're not busy totally failing at job creation, that is!) and they've gone about it with exactly the "pro-family" priorities we've come to expect from the Georgia GOP:
Georgia is set to eliminate all state money for domestic violence programs, replacing it with federal funds that some advocates say will limit the services shelters for battered women can provide.
Yes, you read that right. In order to solve the state's budget woes, the House and the Senate both voted to eliminate all state money for DV programs.

And if you think that Deal and his fellow Republicans just don't care about domestic violence, well, hold on there, partner! They are just going to use federal money instead: TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) will make up the difference.

Except, not so much.
In memos and e-mails from February and March, HHS officials asked the state to explain its use of TANF dollars but said they would not know for sure whether they were permissible until they conducted an audit.
To sum:

1. Led by GOP Governor Nathan Deal, both the Georgia GOP-led House and the GOP-led Senate have voted in a budget that eliminates funding for DV shelters. They say federal money will make up the difference.

2. The Feds say that's a questionable use of funds.

3. The Georgia GOP keeps it in the budget anyway. Because they don't actually give a shit.

You can dress this up any way you like—I especially love the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute guy who calls this "creative"—but it signals a fundamental disdain for the rights of women. As Liss says, this shit doesn't happen in a void. If you think that it's a coincidence that this same legislature has seen bills introduced that classify abortions as "prenatal murder" and rape survivors as "accusers"...well, then you have a very broad definition of "coincidence."

Anyway, we shouldn't worry, because Nathan Deal (of the barftastic track record on DV) assures us that the money will be there somehow!
"We do feel this is a permissible use of TANF funds," Robinson said. "But no matter what happens the money will be there for these shelters."
Well, I feel better, don't you? I guess that it will come from the Super Secret Leprechaun Gold Emergency Fund, or maybe just from Nathan Deal's ass. Because it certainly isn't in the budget.

And that says it all, really. If DV were a priority, then funding for shelters wouldn't be an expendable political football. Full stop.

But then, for DV to be a priority, the GOP would have to admit that its vision of gender, family, and sexuality isn't the idyllic Fifties-as-seen-on-tv. Rather, defunding DV shelters emphasizes the fact that, like the GOP's "pro-life" ideology, their "pro-family" position is inherently violent, propping up the authority of abusers, no matter the cost to children and partners.

Conservative? Sure. Compassionate? Please.

If you live in Georgia and would like to contact your representatives and/or the governor's office, contact information can be found through

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