RAPE CRISIS programs and centers in Ohio serve a vital function. Funding, however, is always critical to their effectiveness.
A recent grant from the Ohio Attorney General's office will help the cause. The state office awarded nearly $1 million in funding of 25 rape crisis programs and centers in Ohio.
One local entity will be a beneficiary of that grant. The Tri-County Help Center is one of the centers receiving a $36,789 grant which will be used to expand its current sexual assault services.
Attorney General Mike DeWine notes that, "this is the first time that money from Ohio's new Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund is being used, so these are additional resources that can now go towards helping survivors of sexual assault."
The funding will be put to good use as the services and support provided by the Tri-County Help Center are key in the recovery process after a traumatic assault.
The timing of the grant funding coincides with April's designation of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In conjunction with that, Tri-County Help Center reminds the public of its free victim support services, including 24-hour crisis intervention, victim/court advocacy, emergency shelter for survivors, legal and hospital accompaniment, recovery and counseling, and a crisis hotline available 24 hours at 1-800-695-1639.
Sexual assault unfortunately occurs more frequently than many may think. One out of every four women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. It is also one of the most under reported crimes, as only 40 percent of rapes are ever reported.
Such numbers reinforce the need of for such centers as Tri-County, which provides residents of Belmont, Harrison and Monroe counties services such as mental health counseling, case management, psychiatric assessment and treatment and anti-violence programs.
We commend The Tri-County Help Center and similar facilities that offer support, help and reassurance to individuals in time of distress.
We also give praise to DeWine for providing additional funding to make that happen.