We want to extend a very special “thank you” the Ohio House & Senate for approving the increased budget for the Ohio Rape Crisis Centers line item (“Line Item”), from $1.5 million per fiscal year to $4.75 million per fiscal year.
This increase was necessary in order to position Ohio’s 31 rape crisis programs to expand services to cover all 88 counties. This increase will change the landscape of rape crisis services in our state and will positively impact the lives of thousands of Ohioans.
Before 2014, Ohio survivors could access rape crisis services in less than half of Ohio’s 88 counties. Programs serving these counties operated heavily on federal grants, and the vast majority of federal grants restricted funding to the creation or maintenance of new positions and heavily regulate the tasks those grants will support. This left Ohio rape crisis programs without a dependable funding stream to cover costs associated with keeping their doors open.
To expand service accessibility across counties, and to increase the financial stability of Ohio’s existing rape crisis programs, OAESV worked diligently with Ohio legislators and the Attorney General’s office to create the Ohio Rape Crisis Centers budget line item. Under the Line Item, programs that meet the Core Standards are eligible for unrestricted funds. The Line Item’s positive impact has been swift and powerful. For instance, many programs have been able to extend their services to cover additional counties, increase employment, and create prevention programming.
As counties providing services have increased since 2014, so have reports of sexual violence to law enforcement. This is just one way that the Line Item has demonstrated a tangible and impressive impact since it was first introduced.
Now, the increased demand for survivor services and prevention work will further be met with this extremely impactful increase in Line Item funds. 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.
Interviews available upon request.
As Ohio’s statewide coalition, OAESV advocates for comprehensive responses and rape crisis services for survivors and empowers communities to prevent sexual violence.
Contact: Taylr Ucker-Lauderman
Director of Communications
Phone: (216) 317–2339