Ohio Governor Awards $4.8 Million in Grant Funding to Rape Crisis Centers

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday that rape crisis centers and sexual assault survivor programs in Ohio will receive $4.8 million in grant funding.

Twenty-five rape crisis centers and survivor service providers from 24 Ohio counties received grant funding.

DeWine says that the grant funding aims to help the 25 programs offer virtual/remote and crisis services, support the emergency needs of sexual assault survivors and pay for hiring and retention bonuses to entice and maintain staff to secure ongoing sexual assault recovery services.

“The services provided by our rape crisis centers are essential for helping sexual assault survivors recover from trauma. These funds will not only help survivors get the support they need but will also ensure that service providers have enough staff members to walk along with survivors on their recovery journey,” DeWine said.

The Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) is administering the grant program which is funded through the 2021 Family Violence Prevention and Services Act American Rescue Plan Act, Rape Crisis Centers, and Sexual Assault Programs Supplemental COVID-19 funds.

The announcement follows $3.6 million in family violence prevention grants and $6.7 million for domestic violence survivor programs that were announced earlier this fall.

OCJS is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety. OCJS administers grant funds to Ohio’s criminal justice constituents and coordinates Ohio’s comprehensive criminal justice plan. The agency safeguards federal and state criminal justice funds against waste to maximize the resources available in Ohio’s fight against crime. OCJS also evaluates programs and develops technology, training, and products for criminal justice professionals and communities.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), sexual harassment and assault are widespread problems impacting society. Nationwide, 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime.

According to Resilience Empowering Survivors Ending Sexual Violence, a Campbell 2006 study found that when victims receive advocate-assisted services following assaults, they receive more helpful information, referrals, and services and experience less secondary trauma or re-victimization by medical and legal systems.

The same study found that when advocates are present in the legal and medical proceedings following rape, victims fare better in both the short and long term, experiencing less psychological distress, physical health struggles, sexual risk-taking behaviors, self-blame, guilt, and depression. Rape survivors with advocates were 59% more likely to have police reports taken than survivors without advocates, whose reports were only taken 41% of the time.

“We owe it to survivors of sexual assault to make sure they receive comprehensive support after an attack,” DeWine said.

The following 25 agencies will each receive grant funding:

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Mike DeWine” by Eric Porter. CC BY-SA 4.0. Background Photo “Cleveland Rape Crisis Center” by Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.

 

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