Victims of domestic violence in California are finding it less hospitable than ever to live there.
Faced with severe budget deficits, the governor virtually eliminated the budget previously allocated to services to victims of domestic violence.
The magnitude of the cutbacks far outstrips other struggling states.
Now shelters are feeling the same level of desperation as their charges.
Some have closed. Some of reduced staff. Some have scaled back their facilities. Some have scaled back their operations.
The result: victims fleeing domestic violence, often mothers with children in tow, are being turned away.
The situation is especially bleak in rural communities.
This is an especially bitter pill for victims of domestic violence to swallow in the midst of this recession.
High unemployment, many foreclosures, tight credit, fuel high tensions which tend to trigger domestic violence incidents.
Some federal aid, combined with private donations, is helping to keep some services going that would otherwise have been shut down.
But advocates for domestic violence victims, and victims themselves, worry for how long.