"It's devastating," said Jayne Ann Kita, executive director of the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
The cuts are a result of Congress' inability to come up with a budget and deficit-reduction plan. All programs and projects in the federal budget are facing yearly cuts through 2021 unless or until Congress and the White House can agree on a new deal.
"Dorothy," who is living at one of the battered women's shelters in Little Rock, says she has nowhere to go.
"Because my family is so scared of my baby's daddy, they can't help me, I can't go and stay with them, so my only choice was the shelter," she said in an exclusive interview with KARK.
The shelter's outreach coordinator is concerned federal budget cuts could force more shelters to close and put women like Dorothy in danger.
"In the end, she could wind up dead and that's the bottom line," said Meredith Looney. "I think that's the scariest thing. We don't, of course, sit there and talk to our clients about that and say that's what the outcome can be but ultimately that's what we are protecting them from."
The automatic cuts will also impact other programs such as substance abuse treatment, drug task forces and victim advocates.
Congress is expected to deal with the cuts when it reconvenes in November after the election.