Three local agencies receive a total of nearly $140,000 in crime victim grants

By Frank Lewis

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Three Scioto County agencies will receive grants as a part of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Expanding Services and Empowering Victims Initiative.

The Southern Ohio Task Force on Domestic Violence is scheduled to receive $111,352.36; the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Program will receive $17,095.54 and the Southern Ohio Sexual Assault Forensic Nursing, Inc. will receive $11,490.

DeWine said he is awarding more than $51 million to 307 crime victim service providers across Ohio as part of the newly established “Ohio Attorney General’s Expanding Services and Empowering Victims Initiative.”

The funds are being awarded as the result of a marked increase in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice for 2015-2016. In fiscal year 2014-2015, Ohio received $15,993,857 in VOCA funding, as opposed to this fiscal year’s award of $69,888,068. The fund is financed by federal settlements, fines, and fees.

Additional grant recipients will be announced in the future.

“No matter where you live in this state, we want victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes to have access to the essential services needed to report crimes, seek justice, and recover,” DeWine said. “Through this initiative, we will help crime victim service agencies throughout the state enhance the essential services they already provide to crime victims in Ohio, while also funding brand new programs that will help empower survivors to overcome their victimization.”

DeWine said he created the “Ohio Attorney General’s Expanding Services and Empowering Victims Initiative” to determine how the funds could best be spent to serve victims of crime in Ohio.

Of the $51 million in grants announced today, an estimated $15 million will go toward providing services to domestic violence victims, nearly $10 million will go to prosecutor-based programs, and more than $9 million will go toward serving victims of sexual assault. Additional funds will assist agencies that provide services to at-risk youth and human trafficking victims, court appointed special advocates, and child advocacy centers.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.