DeWine announces new help for sexual assault victims - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

DeWine announces new help for sexual assault victims

This map of Ohio's Sexual Assault Services Expansion Program shows expected changes having the entire state covered. (Photo Source: Ohio Attorney General's Office) This map of Ohio's Sexual Assault Services Expansion Program shows expected changes having the entire state covered. (Photo Source: Ohio Attorney General's Office)
COLUMBUS, OH (Toledo News Now) -

On Wednesday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced details of a plan to address existing gaps in sexual assault services across Ohio.

The formation of the new Sexual Assault Services Expansion Program comes after a survey conducted by the Attorney General's Office found that 59 percent of Ohio's counties do not have comprehensive, direct sexual assault services.

"Months before the tragic sexual assault in Steubenville, I asked my Crime Victims Section to undertake an analysis of all crime victim services in the state, and we found startling gaps in sexual assault services in Ohio," said DeWine. "It is our goal to ensure that a quick and compassionate emergency response is available to any victim of sexual assault at any time of the day, any day of the week, and in any area of the state."

The study found that only 36 Ohio counties offer comprehensive, direct sexual assault services. According to the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, a county with comprehensive, direct services offers a 24-hour crisis hotline, criminal justice advocacy, hospital advocacy, community outreach, crisis intervention services, referral services, and agency collaboration.

A total of 44 counties were found to offer some of those sexual assault-specific services, and eight counties offer few or no sexual assault-specific services.

Those eight counties include:

-Fulton

-Wyandot

-Crawford

-Clinton

-Perry

-Meigs

-Harrison

-Monroe@

The Sexual Assault Services Expansion Program will provide grant funding for new regional sexual assault coordinators who will oversee the implementation of comprehensive, direct sexual assault services in all of Ohio's 88 counties over the next five years. The coordinators will recruit and train local volunteers, collaborate with local hospitals and criminal justice and mental health professionals, and provide training on how to meet the needs of sexual assault survivors.

The first year of the project will focus on expanding direct sexual assault services to Perry, Meigs, Wyandot, and Crawford counties. Year two will focus on Harrison and Monroe counties, and year three will focus on Fulton and Clinton counties. The coordinators will also work towards bringing counties with some level of sexual assault services to the comprehensive level.

"It is crucial that adequate victim services are available to anyone who has been sexually assaulted," said DeWine. "We know that these counties are doing the best they can, but they are struggling. This is why we are going to help."

The Attorney General's Office is also working to determine what additional resources can be geared towards prevention efforts, including youth education programs and public awareness campaigns.

Wednesday's announcement comes at the same time as Ohio Representatives Nan Baker and Kirk Schuring announced their proposed Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund legislation. Money from the fund would be raised through $100 sex offender registration fees. The money would go towards eligible rape crisis programs to provide services, such as hotlines, victim advocacy, and support services.

View a map outlining the level of sexual assault services currently provided in each county.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • The Latest: George HW Bush's socks subtly honor wife's work

    The Latest: George HW Bush's socks subtly honor wife's work

    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:44 AM EDT2018-04-21 14:44:47 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 7:19 PM EDT2018-04-21 23:19:11 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.

    Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin's Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

    More >>

    Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin's Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

    More >>
  • Barbara Bush was 'first lady of the greatest generation'

    Barbara Bush was 'first lady of the greatest generation'

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:04:04 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 7:19 PM EDT2018-04-21 23:19:00 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>
  • Trump considering pardon for late boxer Jack Johnson

    Trump considering pardon for late boxer Jack Johnson

    Saturday, April 21 2018 3:44 PM EDT2018-04-21 19:44:16 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 7:17 PM EDT2018-04-21 23:17:37 GMT
    Stallone, who starred in the 1976 boxing film "Rocky" and several sequels, is a supporter of the president and attended Trump's New Years' Eve party at Mar-a-Lago in 2016. (Source: CNN/Twitter)Stallone, who starred in the 1976 boxing film "Rocky" and several sequels, is a supporter of the president and attended Trump's New Years' Eve party at Mar-a-Lago in 2016. (Source: CNN/Twitter)

    President Donald Trump says he's considering "a Full Pardon!" for boxing's first black heavyweight champion more than 100 years after Jack Johnson was convicted by all-white jury of "immorality" for one of his...

    More >>

    President Donald Trump says he's considering "a Full Pardon!" for boxing's first black heavyweight champion more than 100 years after Jack Johnson was convicted by all-white jury of "immorality" for one of his relationships.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly