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Press Releases

Contact Peaceful Paths at
352-377-5690 for more information.

November 27, 2023

Funding Cuts Create Significant Budget Shortfalls for Domestic Violence Centers

Peaceful Paths lost $500,000 in October 2023 and will lose an additional $400,000

in October 2024 due to the reduction of a federal grant, known as the Victims of Crime Act fund


GAINESVILLE- Due to a reduction in fines and penalties paid by Federal criminal offenders between 2017-2021, programs across the state are losing vital support. For Peaceful Paths, which provides domestic abuse services for residents of Alachua, Bradford and Union counties, that means a loss of nearly $1 million, or one-third of its budget. Peaceful Paths lost $500,000 in October, with another $400,000 in cuts coming next year. While working toward a long-term solution, critical services across all aspects of Peaceful Paths programs are at risk unless this funding gap can be filled.

What Peaceful Paths lost this year:
• One Lawyer: provides injunction services, referrals and advice to 200 victims annually
• Economic Empowerment Coordinator: provides housing, financial literacy, and case management to over 250 survivors a year
• High Risk Advocate: provides case management to more than 100 victims identified as high risk by police
• Outreach Advocate: provides support to 5-7 survivors walking in for services weekly
• Two Part-time staff at Shelter: provides coverage for helpline, resident services, and facility support, especially during high occupancy periods
• Trauma Counseling Services: Sessions for survivors reduced from 16 to 12 (25% loss)
• Supportive Housing Resources: Supplies and maintenance support for the six Campus apartment units was cut by 75%
• Direct Client Assistance: Cash support for reloca
tion was cut by 75%
• Operations Support: Utility, insurance and office supplies are all cut by 25%

What we will have to cut next year without additional funding:
• Trauma Counseling services
• Supportive Housing support
• Relocation support

• Outreach and Shelter staff (multiple positions)

This cut, which comes at a time of rising operational costs for utilities, food, maintenance and insurance, supports 40% of Peaceful Paths direct client services. As advocacy groups work toward long-term fixes for the Victims of Crime Act Fund, you can help bridge the gap until federal funding returns. Here are the ways to assist domestic abuse survivors immediately:

Donate using our online portal
• Consider making your donation recurring and become an Ally in Action or Corporate Partner
• Participate in our Hope Works 50th Anniversary Campaign and Events in 2024
• Provide Pro Bono Legal services to cover reduced staffing
• Contact your state representatives and let them know you support funds being provided for victim safety and support from Florida’s budget
• Contact local commissioners and urge them to support our upcoming funding requests to help fill the gap

“It is only with substantial funding support that we can weather these temporary reductions and not impact services,” said Dr. Theresa Beachy, Executive Director of Peaceful Paths Domestic Abuse Network. “Relationship violence is more prevalent than many people realize, and Peaceful Paths ensures that survivors and their children have a path to safety and support as well as emotional and financial independence. This is an essential need - not an optional one - for any community that cares about protecting and lifting its most vulnerable people. Please consider an investment in your community and survivor services in this time of crisis.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Dr. Theresa Beachy, Executive Director, Peaceful Paths Domestic Abuse Network, 352-377-5690

April 18, 2023


Peaceful Paths Receives Matching Funds as Part of Amazing Give 2023

Subaru of Gainesville Shows the Love Locally



GAINESVILLE- Subaru of Gainesville is doing something AMAZING for survivors! Peaceful Paths is excited to announce that Subaru of Gainesville will be awarding $25,000 in operations funding as match to the Building Places & Safe Spaces Amazing Give Campaign for 2023.  They challenge the community to Show the Love and help us reach our 25K goal by pledging another 25K matching donation beginning immediately and ending at 8 pm on April 20th.  Chris Baynard of Subaru will be awarding the check at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the grand reopening on Thursday April 20 at 11:30. Take a tour of the reorganized space and learn more about our Mission in Action saving lives and creating change.    Contribute to this project now at


In the coming months, Peaceful Paths will continue our commitment to survivor safety and support with additional space renovation and expansion. At the Dutton Schilling Housing Campus, we plan to build a covered walkway to give parents and kids coming home to shelter better protection from the elements.  The dogs who come with the families on Campus need a bigger run area outside and this is a major wishlist item.  At the Outreach office, our unified entrance space is complete, but needs some finishing touches, including a sponsor for the reception desk center that will allow us to serve everyone efficiently, and new furniture for the waiting area.  Our goal of $25,000 can complete these projects and will make the Campus and Outreach safer and more accessible. 


For more information on how you can be a part of this project now, or for details on the issue, please contact

Dr. Theresa Beachy at 352-377-5690 or visit us on the web at 

FEBRUARY 7, 2023

Recent Appeals Court Decision Puts Victims of Domestic Violence at Higher Risk

Allowing perpetrators to have access to guns while an injunction is in place increases danger of homicide.


GAINESVILLE - The recent ruling issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in United States v. Rahimi struck down 30 years of federal law prohibiting those under a protective order for domestic violence from possessing firearms. In a unanimous decision, the three-judge panel ruled a domestic violence abuser subject to a protective order has a constitutional right to possess a firearm. Research and decades of advocate, judicial and law enforcement experience tell us the following things:


  • Domestic violence and firearms are a lethal combination.

  • When a male abuser has access to a firearm, the risk that he will shoot and kill a female partner increases by 1,000%.

  • Prior to this decision, federal law prohibited convicted abusers and those who are under protective orders of domestic violence from possessing firearms. 

  • While the 5th Circuit left in place the federal ban on firearms for convicted abusers, it ultimately ruled the prohibition on possession of a firearm in civil restraining order cases was unconstitutional.

  • In summary, the court struck the federal law that prohibits guns from abusers under domestic violence protective orders. 

  • Some survivors may not wish to or be able to seek a conviction, but an order of protection can be another tool for increasing survivor safety. 

    • This decision reveals an utter disregard for domestic violence survivors’ safety.

Executive Director Dr. Theresa Beachy stated, “Peaceful Paths leads the Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence in our tri county region.  Victim safety is the focus for all our collective efforts, and this ruling is truly a shock.   Our High Risk Team and Lethality Assessment Protocol with local law enforcement are designed to predict and prevent domestic violence homicides.  This ruling makes this work that much more difficult by allowing volatile individuals access to firearms despite the fact that they have demonstrated to a judge that their actions could lead to injury or death of the victim.  Undermining the judicial authority to protect victims with an injunction by reintroducing weapons to the mix reduces the effectiveness of one of the few system safeguards victims can access.” 

For more information on the agency or how you can be an ally in our work, please contact Dr. Theresa Beachy at

352-377-5690 or visit us on the web at

We exist to save lives and create change.


JULY 15, 2022


In light of the tragic homicide related to domestic violence this past weekend, Peaceful Paths remains committed to survivors of domestic violence (DV) and intimate partner violence (IPV). 


If you or someone you know is in danger or would like to talk to an advocate, contact us: 

24-Hour Helpline at 352-377-8255 Text 24-hours a day to 352-727-0948


The incident on July 9th marks the sixth domestic violence related homicide to affect Alachua County in the past two years. Life stressors in addition to the pandemic have also contributed to an increase in domestic violence and have been highlighted nationally as a growing concern for many domestic violence service programs. Recent research states, “The pandemic, like other kinds of disasters, exacerbates the social and livelihood stresses and circumstances that we know lead to intimate partner violence," researcher Clare Cannon found (Asst. Professor of Social & Environmental Justice, UC Davis). While these life circumstances do not cause domestic violence, they can certainly lead to increased physical danger and fatalities. 

Statistics from the National Coalition against Domestic Violence report that 37% of Florida women and 29% of Florida men experience IPV violence their lifetimes. Last year Peaceful Paths provided over 33,000 nights of safe housing in our emergency shelter, assisted 643 clients with legal needs and legal referrals, and answered close to 4,500 helpline calls. Executive Director of Peaceful Paths, Dr. Theresa Beachy states, “Peaceful Paths remains vigilant in our mission to Save Lives and Create Change. We will continue to serve our community members and advocate at all levels for increased prevention and education surrounding DV and IPV, increased services for survivors, and legislative change that holds batterers accountable and increases safety for victims and their families." 

Peaceful Paths serves victims and survivors in Alachua, Bradford and Union Counties. Services include a 24 Hour Helpline, emergency shelter, support group and crisis counseling, injunction support and legal referrals, economic empowerment and financial literacy, and housing support. 

All services are confidential and provided free of charge. In addition to providing direct services for victims and survivors, Peaceful Paths provides community education and violence prevention programming to community members of all ages. Please visit our website at

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