Manchin and Capito Announce Funding to Protect Children Affected by Abuse in Mercer County
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) announced that Child Protect of Mercer County, Inc. will receive a $500,000 Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Assistance Program (Rural Program) grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. The grant will help support the Mending Mercer County Project, which aims to protect and provide guidance to children and families affected by abuse.
“Every act of violence is troubling but those against a child are particularly disturbing,” Senator Manchin said. “The work done by the Mending Mercer County Project saves lives and strengthens communities. I am pleased this grant will continue to fund this innovative and successful program to provide protection to victims of violence, especially those in remote and geographically isolated areas who face barriers to accessing services.”
“It’s difficult to imagine a crime more devastating than sexual assault or domestic abuse of a child. Especially in rural areas, we must ensure that victims of these terrible crimes have access to the help and support they need to escape dangerous situations and begin to heal. I worked to secure funding for this grant program through the appropriations process and am glad that Child Protect and the Mending Mercer County Project can continue to provide essential services to victims, and to combat domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Senator Capito.
Rural Program grants are used to support programs that identify, assess and appropriately respond to child, youth and adult victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in rural communities. The funding is intended to establish and expand victim services in rural communities, to increase the safety and well-being of women and children in rural communities, and to create strategies for awareness and prevention of these crimes.
$500,000 Rural Program grant – Child Protect of Mercer County, Inc.
Child Protect, a non-profit victim service provider, provides direct services to underage victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking through forensic interviews, trauma-focused mental health services, advocacy and support services, medical exam coordination, case tracking and case coordination. The grant funding will contribute to the Mending Mercer County Project, which aims to mend the lives of victims in Mercer County through an improved medical, mental health, victim advocacy, investigative and prosecutorial response.
To accomplish this goal, Child Protect, along with their project partners, the Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, and the West Virginia State Police-Princeton Detachment, will:
- Provide on-call Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) nurses around the clock to conduct SANE exams for victims of sexual assault.
- Prepare the monthly SANE on-call schedule, coordinate SANE services with both local hospitals and ensure that SANE program requirements are maintained.
- Support victim advocates who will provide advocacy and support for victims of sexual assault.
- Provide advocacy, support, medical exam accompaniment, crime victim compensation assistance, court preparation and court accompaniment for underage victims.
- Ensure all annual training requirements are maintained.
- Support a special investigator who will investigate crimes related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
- Support a forensic interviewer who will conduct neutral, non-leading forensic interviews with child victims and cognitively impaired adult victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
- Support a special prosecutor who will prosecute crimes related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
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