Five north country nonprofits to receive sexual assault prevention and support funding

2017-12-13 | Watertown Daily Times (N.Y.)

Dec. 13--As part of nearly $6.5 million in funding statewide, Gov. Andrew A. Cuomo announced five grants for sexual assault prevention and support services in the north country.

Nonprofit agencies in Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties were awarded a combined $456,400.

"We are very excited to receive this vital funding," St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House Executive Director Ilene J. Burke said in an email. St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House will receive a grant for $68,500.

"It will not only help in providing supportive services for sexual assault victims, but it will also assist our agency in providing education and prevention activities to community members throughout our county," she said.

The funding has been awarded for services including crisis hotlines, programs assisting survivors of sexual assault and efforts to enhance assault prevention in communities and on college campuses.

"Sexual assault is a crime that leaves its victims both physically and psychologically wounded," Office of Victim Services Director Elizabeth Cronin said in a public statement. "These programs serve as pillars of support for rape and sexual assault victims as they embark on their road to recovery ... (Our) hope is that they will be able to help even more victims as they recover from their ordeal."

The grants, doled out to 55 hospitals, nonprofits and governmental state agencies, will support counseling and therapy for victims, legal resources and criminal justice advocacy and training for educators, advocates and sexual assault forensic examiners.

"Two years ago (the state) enacted the toughest policy in the nation to fight sexual assault on college campuses. Today, we are focusing on prevention and advocacy ... and getting victims the help they need to recover from this unconscionable crime," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said in the statement.

"New York has resoundingly said enough is enough and we are putting our foot down when it comes to sexual assault."

The earmarked funding comes through three state agencies -- the Office of Victim Services, the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the state Department of Health.

North Country Grant Awards:

--St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House for Victims of Family Violence, Inc., $68,500

--Oswego County Opportunities, Inc., $69,500

--Lewis County Opportunities, Inc., $94,200

--Planned Parenthood of the North Country, Inc., $111,100

--Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County, Inc., $113,100