August 31, 2022

RI Delegation Announces $1.1M to Support Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to provide essential services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and strengthen the state’s support systems for people who have experienced abuse, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced nearly $1.1 million in new federal funding to help victims and hold perpetrators accountable.

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence is receiving a $550,000 federal grant under the Justice for Families Program to help provide targeted services for families impacted by sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, or in cases involving allegations of child sexual abuse.

The Rhode Island Department of Public Safety is receiving $546,294 through the Sexual Assault Services (SAS) Grant Program, which provides dedicated funding to support rape crisis centers and organizations that provide services, direct intervention, and related assistance to victims of sexual violence and non-offending family and household members of victims, and those collaterally affected by the sexual assault.

Both grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and were funded in the fiscal year 2022 appropriations law.

“Survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence face immense challenges and this federal funding will help people who’ve been through traumatic crisis get the help they need.  It provides survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence with critical support to navigate the justice system and move forward with their healing.  From providing victims with counseling and legal services to safe, secure, temporary housing, this federal funding helps make a meaningful difference for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse,” said Senator Reed.

“The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety do heroic work to protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in their darkest hour,” said Whitehouse.  “After years prosecuting domestic violence, I’m glad to have helped secure these federal funds to boost the services offered to survivors and help ensure those who need support are able to find a lifeline in a moment of crisis.”

“Survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence do incredible work to reclaim their lives after traumatic experiences. The recovery process sometimes includes setbacks, but a lack of targeted, community-based services should never be one of them,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “I am proud to deliver funding to ensure that survivors have the resources they need to heal on their own terms, and I have every confidence that the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety will help them do just that.”

“Far too many victims of domestic violence and sexual assault do not have access to the resources they need and deserve – for themselves and their families,” said Congressman Cicilline. “This funding, and the work and programs it will support at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Rhode Island Department of Public Safety, will help countless Rhode Islanders get help and heal after experiencing trauma. These types of programs are exactly why we must continue to renew and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and prevent it from lapsing ever again.”

Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence Executive Director Lucy Rios said: “We are tremendously fortunate to receive this essential funding that will better protect the safety of Rhode Islanders impacted by abuse and stalking, particularly communities that are underserved and at high risk for interpersonal violence – including communities of color, immigrants and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.”

“We celebrate the establishment of child-friendly safe visitation centers that will be managed by the RICADV’s member agencies, which will keep survivors of violence safe from the abuse they often experience during court-ordered child visitation exchanges with an abusive co-parent. This funding supports our work to expand life-saving services to make this possible, and strengthens the safety net Rhode Island victims and their children rely on,” she continued.

The Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations law, passed earlier this year, also included the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Act, which was supported by all four members of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation.  The law modernizes and reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act, which supports survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking by providing federal resources and technical support for programs that help victims.

Chip Unruh (Reed), 202-224-4642

Meaghan McCabe (Whitehouse), 401-453-5294

Matt Fidel (Langevin), (202) 631-1010

Jennifer Bell (Cicilline), (202) 365-0827

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921