July 6, 2012
Domestic violence program receives $10K
Grant to help YWCA’s Aid to Victims of Violence as state steps up abuse prevention
The Cortland YWCA received a $10,000 grant from the state on Thursday to help fund its domestic violence program.
State Sen. Jim Seward announced the grant, one of five awarded to programs throughout his district. The funding was set aside in the 2012-13 state budget.
“These community programs provide vital services for those in dire need,” Seward said.
Linda Shutts, director of the Cortland YWCA Aid to Victims of Violence, said the grant will be helpful to fund the program’s services, but state dollars have been dwindling over the years so programs like this have had to do more with less.
“This will fill some of the gap so we can continue to provide the same level of service we have been,” Shutts said. “Our program specifically is funded on grants by state programs and when they get smaller over time, it gets difficult to provide the level of services they expect.”
Cortland’s Aid to Victims of Violence provides counseling, treatment, shelter and other help for female or male victims in domestic violence cases. Cortland’s Aid to Victims of Violence has about 150 open domestic violence cases, according to Shutts.
Seward on Thursday announced five other similar grants for domestic violence programs. Grants for $10,000 went to Catholic Charities of Herkimer County, Opportunities for Otsego, and Catholic Charities of Schoharie County. Grants for $5,000 went to Chenango County Catholic Charities and Advocacy Center of Tompkins County.
State lawmakers recently approved a bill to toughen penalties for domestic abusers, create new criminal charges and gave judges more ability to lock up violent offenders who pose a risk. The bill passed both the Senate and Assembly and will be sent to the governor for final approval.
“This comprehensive legislation targeting domestic violence is a major development — it creates harsh penalties suitable for abusers and provides law enforcement and prosecutors with the tools they need to put dangerous criminals behind bars,” Seward said.
Shutts and Cortland County law enforcement officials voiced similar praise when the legislation was announced last month.
Domestic violence cases can go from verbal abuse, to an assault, and in extreme cases — a murder. The repetitious nature of domestic abuse or violence against a victim is part of what makes the crimes so threatening, according to Shutts and YWCA Director Amy Simrell.
“The U.S. surgeon general has identified domestic violence as the number one health problem affecting American women,” Seward said Thursday in a statement. “Providing help to vulnerable individuals, who often have nowhere else to turn, is essential.”
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