Services Increased for Sexual Assault Victims in Ohio

By: WSAZ News Staff, The Associated Press Email
By: WSAZ News Staff, The Associated Press Email

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ & AP) -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has
announced funding for services for sexual assault victims in the state.

DeWine says 49 of the state's 88 counties now provide all core sexual assault services, and 38 counties offer some.

He says one county - Clinton, in southern Ohio - provides little or no core services.

Services include the availability of a 24-hour crisis hotline and advocates who could respond to victims at a hospital.

"Many of those who didn't have a local hotline to call now have someone to talk with 24/7. Some counties that didn't have a local advocate now have someone who can meet a survivor at the hospital directly following an attack," said DeWine. "Quite frankly, we wish no one would ever have to use these services, but when someone is sexually assaulted, it is critical that survivors can find help close to home."

DeWine formed the sexual services program last year after a survey found that 52 of Ohio's 88 counties do not offer such services. DeWine says it's crucial that adequate services are available to all sexual assault victims.

A $65,000 grant provided through the Sexual Assault Services Expansion Program to Ohio University's Women's Center assisted with expanding services to Perry and Meigs counties and increasing services in Athens County.

The goal is that all 88 counties in Ohio will offer all core services to residents by 2018.

"We have made great progress in the last year and appreciate the support of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and his commitment that every Ohioan has access to comprehensive rape crisis services in their area," said Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence Executive Director Katie Hanna. "We still have a way to go to make that goal a reality, but we look forward to continuing to work with the Attorney General's Office on sustainable rape crisis services to support survivors and provide prevention programs."

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