According to a National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) survey, results from more than 600 programs revealed that 89 percent of rape crisis centers across the country needed emergency funding to respond to survivor needs and 40 percent had increased demand for services.
In other national data, gender-based violence centers were experiencing severe funding issues: 62 percent of programs reported an increased demand for services and 64 percent of programs received a decrease in funding, particularly from private donations. Counseling services have been cut due to non-competitive salaries and stress. Survivors suffer from complex trauma, including stress about paying bills due to loss of income from pandemic and lack of childcare.
In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan offered COVID relief funding for survivors of sexual assault. The NAESV reported that the legislation would offer $198 million for sexual assault services through rape crisis centers, $180 million for the Family Violence Prevention & Services Act, $49.5 million for culturally specific programs, $1 million for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, $1 million for the StrongHearts Native Helpline, $18 million for tribal responses to gender-based violence.
Funding was needed to purchase tablets, cell phones, tele-health, internet, and other equipment and platforms to allow staff working remotely to provide virtual services to survivors as well as to meet the emergency needs of survivors such as food, rent, pre-paid cell phones for survivors to receive emergency support, and van rentals.