Rape crisis centers in Pennsylvania will receive a 10 percent increase in state funding if Gov. Tom Corbett’s 2013-14 proposed budget is passed, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape CEO Delilah Rumburg said.
If the proposed budget is passed, the $700,000 increase in annual funding will be allocated to 50 rape crisis centers that serve 30,000 clients across 67 counties in Pennsylvania, Rumburg said.
“Counseling staff have been cut down by almost one third over the last 12 years from constantly eroding budgets,” Rumburg said. “We really appreciate this increase and hope this is a step forward and give people hope that we are getting help.”
The proposed increase in funds will help the staffing requirements at the centers, Rumburg said.
“We can always use help in the crisis centers and students should be encouraged to volunteer when they can” Rumburgh said.
Anne Ard, executive director at the Centre County Women’s Resource Center, , said the organization will see a slight increase in funding through the state’s proposed budget.
“We have to raise around $250,000 a year in addition to state and federal funding,” Ard said.
The federal funding in the form of Victims of Crime Act will see a decrease of $18,000 annually for CCWRC, Ard said.
“This increase in state funding will only partially offset the cut in federal funding that we will see and it will be up to us to make up the difference” Ard said.
CCWRC serves the local Centre County community and also works closely with Penn State to provide assistance to those who have been sexually assaulted, Ard said.
The 2013-14 budget in brief mentions the increase in proposed budget funding for rape crisis and domestic violence programs to “provide much-needed services that help adults and children rebuild their lives.”
The proposed budget also allocated a $1.26 million increase in funding for domestic violence and will “expand the availability of domestic violence programs and services” in Pennsylvania, according to the budget in brief.
President of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence Monika Hostler said Pennsylvania and Ohio will most likely be outlier states that see an increase in state funding, while funding in other states is expected to remain the same.
“I think the media attention in sexual assaults in Pennsylvania might have had an effect in the increase in funding,” Hostler said.
Hostler also said the reduction of VOCA funding will have a significant impact on local agencies that depend on the federal funds.
“[The amount of] VOCA funding depends on the population of the areas, but you will have many agencies cut across the board and even close out,” Hostler said. “[These agencies] will coordinate with neighboring counties because people will still obviously need the services.”