Wittenberg University is among several Ohio institutions that will receive funding from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office to fight against sexual assault.
DeWine’s office recently announced that is awarding $111.8 million in grants to crime victim service providers across Ohio, including $29 million to help child victims as part of the “Ohio Attorney General’s Expanding Services and Empowering Victims Initiative,” which he created in 2015 to determine how grant funds could best be spent to serve victims of crime.
Wittenberg will receive $95,782 to support the university’s Campus Advocacy and Support Services or CASS program.
According to Brooke Wagner, associate professor of sociology at Wittenberg, the funds support programming, train and employ campus advocates who provide crisis-intervention, help with Wittenberg’s support line, allow for one-on-one meetings with students across campus, and help to run support groups, yoga sessions, and informational trainings for survivors of violence and the greater community.
“These funds are also used to provide a counselor on campus for long-term support care for survivors of violence,” Wagner added.
The grants are being awarded to support more than 400 programs throughout the state as part of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and State Victim Assistance Act (SVAA) funding. Of the total awards announced, $108.4 million is from VOCA grant funding awarded to Ohio from the U.S. Department of Justice, financed by federal settlements, fines, and fees. Another $3.4 million is from SVAA.
“These grants will help provide comprehensive care and critical services for victims of crime,” Attorney General DeWine said in a press release. “The funding will support and expand existing programs throughout Ohio and allow new, innovative programs to develop. This year, we placed a special emphasis on providing funding for programs that help Ohio’s youngest and most vulnerable – child victims.”
Other Ohio institutions receiving funding include Columbus State Community College, Defiance College, Franklin University, Kent State University, Ohio University, The Ohio State University, Tiffin University, the University of Toledo, Wilmington College and Wright State University.
Other local service providers receiving funding in the Springfield and Clark County area include CASA of Clark County, Clark County Department of Job and Family Services, the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office, Elderly United of Springfield and Clark County Inc., and Project Woman of Springfield and Clark County.
Of the total grant funding announced, an estimated $28 million will go toward providing services to domestic violence victims, an estimated $25 million toward services for victims of sexual assault or human trafficking, and about $29 million to programs that serve child victims. Funding also will support programs that serve victims with disabilities, elderly victims, and other victims of crime.