Grant award documents are being sent to 32 rape crisis centers and agencies statewide from the office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, providing a total of $4.16 million in grant funding to those organizations.
The funding nearly triples the $1.43 million awarded in each of the past three years. Ohio’s Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund, administered by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, is providing the funding of $4,159,994.
“Women who have lived through the horrific act of rape will now have access to expanded services in every corner of our state,” Yost said. “This massive increase in funding to our local partners will improve lives moving forward.”
The increase is a result of the recently enacted state budget. Funding for the rape crisis centers had been about $1 million in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 and $1.43 million in fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV), the statewide coalition that supports the rape crisis centers around Ohio, reports that over those same years the number of counties providing rape crisis services increased, and so did reports of sexual violence to law enforcement.
“This funding increase is critical to helping rape survivors in Ohio,” said Rep. Laura Lanese (R-Grove City), a cosponsor of the budget amendment that provided the increased funding. “All women should have access to the help they need regardless of where they live.”
The 31 rape crisis centers around Ohio will now each receive a grant of $120,774.
In addition to the new grants to the rape crisis centers, the OAESV will now receive a training and technical assistance award of $416,000, compared to the $142,500 it received last year.
“This increase will change the landscape of rape crisis services in our state and will positively impact the lives of thousands of Ohioans,” said Rosa Beltré, executive director of the OAESV. “We are so thankful that the Ohio legislature and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office have made this decision to support survivors in Ohio and the advocates who serve them and to help put an end to sexual violence in our state.”
The Crime Victim Services Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office awards the grant money.