Office of Children and Family Services

News Article
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Governor Cuomo Announces $7.7 Million in Federal Funding for Programs Serving Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State has received $7.7 million in federal funding that will allow the state to fund 11 new programs and support 117 existing programs that help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Funding through the federal Violence Against Women Act was increased by nearly $662,000 to support programs offered by non-profit organizations, hospitals and law enforcement agencies across the state.

"This funding will help in New York’s fight against sexual assault and domestic violence and ensure that victims receive the assistance and resources they need," Governor Cuomo said. "With this aid, local organizations will be able to improve existing services, establish new programs, and better reach New Yorkers in need of help."

A total of $661,268 in funding through the federal Violence Against Women Act will support 11 new programs across the state, assisting victims in Chenango, Columbia, Greene, Kings, Monroe, Nassau, New York, Orange, Queens and Schoharie counties. Additionally, the state’s 117 existing programs that received federal funding in 2015 will continue receiving support through this renewed funding. There are 105 non-profit organizations, hospitals, district attorneys’ offices and other agencies that offer these programs across the state.

Click here for a list of organizations offering these programs and services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Funding through the federal Violence Against Women Act will support advocacy, counseling and legal services; the salaries of nurses or other medical professionals who are specially trained to perform forensic exams on sexual assault victims; the salaries of police investigators, prosecutors and probation officers that specifically handle domestic violence and sexual assault cases; and training programs for law enforcement, judges and service providers. The Division of Criminal Justice Services administers the federal grant funding.

Division of Criminal Justice Services Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green said, “With this grant funding, we can help law enforcement hold offenders accountable and provide victims with the support that can assist them on their path to recovery. As a former prosecutor, I’ve seen first-hand the havoc domestic violence and sexual assault can impose on victims and their families. These programs are a critical part of our effort to assist these individuals, especially in areas where funding has been hard to come by in recent years.”

All 128 programs will be funded in 2017 with the option for two, one-year contract renewals for funding in 2018 and 2019. In addition to funding direct services to victims and supporting enforcement and prosecution of domestic violence and sexual assault cases, the grants will support initiatives of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Each coalition will receive $231,000 annually.

The Coalition Against Domestic Violence will use the funding to establish the Domestic Violence Advocacy and Leadership Institute, which will develop and expand training for advocates and other professionals. The organization will also establish the Domestic Violence Homicide Response and Prevention Initiative, aimed at reducing intimate partner homicides by improving community coordination and responses to cases before they turn lethal.

Executive Director of the Coalition Against Domestic Violence Connie Neal said, “The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence will provide critical training and support for advocates and individuals who work directly with victims of domestic violence across the State of New York. Through this project, our goal is to reduce and prevent domestic violence and intimate partner homicides. The assistance provided to thousands of survivors annually would not be possible without this critical funding.”

The Coalition Against Sexual Assault will use its funding to initiate a statewide project to better promote the social and emotional well-being of sexual assault victims by enhancing how law enforcement, the medical community and victim advocates address their needs.

The coalition is also addressing the issue of campus sexual assault by working to improve coordination among campus personnel, rape crisis centers, local law enforcement, and county prosecutors. This project complements Governor Cuomo’s Enough is Enough law, which requires all colleges to adopt a set of comprehensive procedures and guidelines, including a uniform definition of affirmative consent, a statewide amnesty policy, and expanded access to law enforcement to ensure the safety of all students attending colleges in New York.

Executive Director of the Coalition Against Sexual Assault Joanne Zannoni said, “This funding supports the Coalition’s mission to end all forms of sexual violence and exploitation by allowing us to conduct programs that prevent sexual assault, address campus sexual assault, and offer training and consultation to rape crisis advocates and other professionals. Sexual violence impacts every one of our communities, and we are grateful this funding promotes both effective intervention and prevention efforts.”

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey said, “Far too many victims of domestic violence are forced to suffer in isolation and silence, unable to seek help for fear of triggering additional abuse to themselves or loved ones. As ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’m pleased these federal investments will support critical service programs that protect women and children as they step out from the shadow of domestic violence.”

Congressman Brian Higgins said, "Organizations that support domestic violence survivors are crucial to providing the necessary treatment, shelter and counseling these situations call for. This funding will support these programs and help them continue to do the important work of helping survivors of domestic violence.”

Congressman Dan Donovan said, "Combatting domestic violence was a cornerstone of my tenure as district attorney and continues to be a priority in Congress. I'm glad to see Governor Cuomo putting these congressionally allocated funds toward potentially lifesaving initiatives."

State and federal funding also supports other community-based programs that assist victims of domestic and sexual violence and other crimes, including: Domestic Violence Resources, Crime Victim Assistance Programs and Sexual Assault and Violence Response Resources for SUNY Students.

The New York State Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (1-800-942-6906) offers help and information 24 hours a day, in English, Spanish and other languages. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can call 711.

The State Division of Criminal Justice Services is a criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training; collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the state’s DNA databank, in partnership with the New York State Police; funding and oversight of probation and community correction programs; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state’s Sex Offender Registry.



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