Legislation We Follow
Sexual Assault Services Program
Sexual Assault Services Program
Funding authorized: $50 million
FY 2012 Appropriation: $23 million
FY 2013 Request: $35 million
“To help get over the trauma of the assault, I immediately turned to a rape crisis center for support . . . the support and services I received. . . gave me my life back!” Gabrielle Union, actress and survivor
Sexual Assault Victims Deserve Recovery Services
The Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP), administered by the Office on Violence Against Women in the U.S. Department of Justice was authorized in 2005 through the Violence Against Women Act as the first federal funding stream dedicated to the provision of direct services to victims of sexual violence.
Across the country, SASP funds support the critical services victims needs most.
SASP funds support services in every state. Formula grants are awarded to states, territories and tribes to support efforts to provide services to adult and minor sexual assault victims and their families. Grants can be used for general intervention and advocacy, especially accompaniment through medical and criminal justice systems.
SASP funds support underserved communities.
“SASP allowed us to finally open a comprehensive service rape crisis center in Dallas.” Jana Barker, Executive Director, Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center
The Need is great.
According to 2010 data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (CDC, December 2011):
• Nearly 1 in 5 women have been the victim of rape or attempted rape.
• Nearly 1 in 2 women have experienced some form of sexual violence.
• 1.3 million women were raped in the United States in the last 12 months.
• 1 in 5 men have experienced a form of sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime.
Victims of sexual assault suffer. They are more likely to struggle professionally, academically and from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and to contemplate suicide.
Current funding levels are inadequate. At FY 2012 levels, the entire state of Virginia receives less than $300,000 in SASP formula grant funds and Maryland receives less than $275,000.
Rape crisis centers struggle. The nation’s 1,315 sexual assault programs often lack the resources to meet victims’ most basic needs. According to a 2012 survey of rape crisis centers by NAESV:
• 60% have a waiting list for counseling and 30% for support groups;
• 50% of programs lost staff last year. Over 100 advocates were laid off and 120 vacant positions went unfilled;
• 25% of programs have 1 FTE or less.
Grants to culturally specific organizations help support intervention and related assistance for underserved victims and communities of color.
SASP funds ensure quality services. Through support of coalitions which provide training and technical assistance, SASP helps ensure that victims receive high quality services and improved responses from the criminal justice system.
Research shows these services increase prosecution and help victims recover.
Advocates help the criminal justice system respond better. A 2006 study found that when victims receive advocate-assisted services following assaults, they receive more helpful information, referrals and services and experience less secondary trauma or
revictimization by medical and legal systems. Rape survivors supported by advocates were 59% more likely to have police reports taken than survivors without advocates, whose reports were only taken 41% of the time.
Advocates help victims heal. The study also found that when advocates are present in the legal and medical proceedings following rape, victims fare better in both the short- and long-term recovery, experiencing less psychological distress, physical health struggles, sexual risk-taking behaviors, self-blame, guilt, and depression.
HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?
Contact Terri Poore, Policy Chair at (850) 363-2918 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a full list of references, visit: www.endsexualviolence.org/brochurecitations