Six shelters that temporarily house victims and their families have closed since Schwarzenegger used his line-item veto to eliminate their funding in July. Advocates say dozens more of the 94 agencies that received a total of $20.4 million in state money last year have scaled back services and cuts hours and staff.
“In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a lot of money,” Moby said about the cuts during a phone interview from Chicago. “But it’s going to directly harm the women who benefit from these programs.”
Moby, whose real name is Richard Melville Hall, said he hopes to generate $75,000 to $100,000 from dates in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco from Oct. 12 through 15 to give to the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.
“My mother was in a long relationship with a guy who was very, very abusive and at one point I had to stop him from stabbing her to death,” Moby said.
Moby said he was about 9 at the time, and the boyfriend later returned with a gun and a baseball bat to destroy many of their possessions. It was one of a series of abusive relationships involving his mother, he said.
“The more I know about domestic abuse, I’m really grateful that it wasn’t worse,” said the 44-year-old, best-selling techno artist who is on a 13-month tour in support of his new album, “Wait for Me.”
The state Legislature had voted to cut 20 percent from the Department of Public Health’s Domestic Violence Program, which would have left $16.3 million. But Schwarzenegger wiped out the funding altogether when he sought to restore a $500 million reserve fund.
State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, had hoped to help restore the $16.3 million, but a bill to do that died amid political infighting in the waning hours of last month’s legislative session.
Yee’s chief of staff, Adam Keigwin, said the senator will reintroduce a bill when the Legislature returns later this month that would borrow the money from the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Fund.
“Peoples’ lives are at risk here and we shouldn’t be playing those petty political games,” he said.
Moby’s donation will kick-start a fundraising campaign by the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. Spokeswoman Camille Hayes said the initial donation will go to help the agencies hardest hit by cuts.
In addition to offering temporary accommodations, the California program also assists victims with restraining orders, legal aid, child services, money management and other life skills.
Shelters in the Central Valley town of Madera, the Sierra foothill town of Grass Valley and in Ventura County in Southern California have been forced to close.
“There are women out there who are falling through the cracks, who are in abusive relationships and need help or need somewhere to go,” Hayes said. “We don’t know about them and we don’t have the services to reach them as a direct result of this cut.”
The 2009-10 budget still includes $5 million in state funding for other programs related to sexual assault and domestic violence, including prevention, crisis hotlines, shelters and funding for law enforcement.