HARRISBURG (December 10) – State Senator Andy Dinniman today announced that the Crime Victims Center of Chester County will receive $ 45,000 in state grant funding to assist the victims of child sexual abuse.

The funds, which were approved by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), come from the Endowment Act Fund, established from monetary penalties imposed on Penn State University (PSU) by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

“We continue to work to ensure that some good can come from these heinous crimes,” Dinniman said. “The effects of child abuse are devastating to our children, families and communities. Our goal is for Pennsylvania to become a leader in providing vital services for the treatment and recovery of the victims of child sexual abuse, while holding perpetrators accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

“Most importantly, these funds go directly to local organizations and agencies that provide direct services to our neighbors who need them the most,” he added.

face-72194_1280In Chester County, the grant funds will be used to open two drop-in centers in the southern region where the Crime Victims Center has identified a need for services among members of the Hispanic and Latino population and impoverished clients who tend to lack transportation and other resources. The two drop-in sites, located in New Garden and West Grove townships, will be staffed by five counselor/advocates and two bilingual victim advocates. Funds will be used to partially support 11 staff, travel costs and program supplies.

In addition, the Crime Victims Center will enhance and expand its Children’s Program to include child support groups, a new part of its treatment model for victims of sexual assault and abuse.

“It is great to see the Crime Victims Center continue to expand its reach to ensure its services are readily available and accessible to all of our residents and communities,” Dinniman said. “We must do everything we can to help the most vulnerable along us, our children, and ensure that the victims of child sexual abuse do not suffer in silence. Treatment services, like those provided by the Crime Victims Center, can go a long way in helping victims fully recover to lead long, healthy and productive lives.”

Dinniman also praised the Crime Victims Center, which has provided services to the region for decades and remains Chester County’s only designated comprehensive victim advocacy organization, for its continued advocacy and leadership on a number of legislative issues including working to prevent domestic violence and cracking down on human trafficking.

The grant comes as part of $3.4 million in funding to be awarded to 44 entities throughout the Commonwealth that assist victims of child sexual abuse.

Per the settlement agreement reached last January, $48 million in monetary penalties imposed on PSU by the NCAA were deposited into a separate account in the State Treasury. Under the Endowment Act (Act 1 of 2013), the PCCD is charged to distribute those funds for the benefit of Pennsylvania residents and the specific purposes of assisting child sex abuse victims.

Act 1 stipulates that no more than half of the funds ($24 million) may be spent within the first five years of the penalties paid into the endowment, and for each year thereafter, all interest and earnings of the endowment shall be expended according to the Act.

 

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