Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Awarded $1.4 Million Grant From Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Crime Victim Services Division
October 17, 2015
Center to Expand Services for Sexual Assault Survivors in All 4 Counties
CLEVELAND, OH – Cleveland Rape Crisis Center has been awarded a grant of $1,479,916.80 through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) program administered by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The grant is the largest in the organization’s history and will allow Cleveland Rape Crisis Center to expand and enhance its counseling, advocacy and outreach services for survivors of rape, sexual abuse and sex trafficking.
The Center plans to immediately hire 18 new direct service employees in the 4 counties where it already offers services – Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula. Last year, the Center employed 29 people and leveraged more than 100 volunteers to provide sexual assault intervention and prevention services to almost 20,000 people.
“These unprecedented resources will transform the way Northeast Ohio responds to and supports women, men and children who have suffered from rape, sexual abuse or sex trafficking,” said Sondra Miller, President & CEO of Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. “Survivors in our region deserve a compassionate response and access to high-quality services that can help them recover, heal and thrive. These resources ensure that more people who need help can get it.”
The grant provides funds for 80 percent of the total program expansion budget. The remaining 20 percent, or about $370,000, must be matched with contributions raised from local entities, per federal guidelines attached to the funding.
“This community has rallied to support the mission of Cleveland Rape Crisis Center over our four decades of service,” added Miller. “Our preliminary conversations with local partners suggest that the community is ready to meet this challenge and to elevate the treatment available to survivors. The days when rape survivors are shamed into silence or simply not believed are over.”
Highlights of the expansion plans include:
- Launching a new Campus Services Department to offer confidential counseling and advocacy services to students impacted by sexual assault on local university campuses.
- Adding three licensed counselors to provide therapy to the increasing number of survivors who are seeking help. In total, ten Trauma Therapists will be working from two locations in Cuyahoga County, one from the Mentor offices and one from the Ashtabula and Chardon offices. The team is supported by a Case Manager who connects survivors to other community resources, such as food, shelter or employment assistance.
- Adding one full-time social worker to coordinate services for victims of sex trafficking identified through the Center’s Project STAR – Sex Trafficking Advocacy & Recovery – hotline.
- Doubling from four to eight the number of Victim Specialists who support survivors as they navigate the criminal justice system.
- Adding two Community Outreach Specialists to educate professionals and community groups about services available to survivors.
- Launching an online and text support system to complement the Center’s existing 24-hour rape crisis and support phone hotline.
“By expanding Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s core services to reach more people in more places, we know we are making our region healthier, safer and stronger,” added Miller.
About Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
The mission of Cleveland Rape Crisis Center is to support survivors of rape and sexual abuse, promote healing and prevention and advocate for social change. With 29 employees and 100 volunteers, the Center provided counseling, advocacy, prevention and training services to nearly 20,000 people in 2014. For more information, visitwww.clevelandrapecrisis.org or call 216-619-6194. The Center’s 24-hour rape crisis and support hotline is 216-619-6192.