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Schumer Announces Over $280,000 Coming To Cayuga County For Victim Services Programs

Funds Will Be Used To Provide Visitation and Exchange Services to Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assaults, and Stalking

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that $280,387 has been awarded to Cayuga County by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program. The federal funds will be used to provide visitation and exchange services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

This is great news for Cayuga County said Schumer. Domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are repugnant crimes that affect our communities. Victims need as many services as possible to help them deal with the emotional and physical impact of these crimes so that they can begin to recover and regain control over their lives.

Cayuga County will use federal funds to form a collaborative partnership with Cayuga County Family Court, Cayuga County Integrated Domestic Violence Court and Cayuga/Seneca Community Action, Inc. to improve victims services. Project goals include will expanding center hours, developing policies and practices that account for batterers tactics, and increasing safety for victims and their children. In 2003, Cayuga County received an initial Supervised Visitation award to open the only visitation center in rural, central New York. The county used funds to hire staff, identify appropriate facilities, and develop protocols with local courts. The visitation center began operation in February 2004.

The Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program was authorized as a twoyear pilot program under the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 to increase supervised visitation and exchange options for families with a history of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. The Program was reauthorized in 2006 with the passage of the Violence Against Women Act of 2006. Eligible applicants for the program include States, Indian tribal governments, and units of local government. By statute, projects funded under the Supervised Visitation Program must demonstrate expertise in the area of family violence, provide a sliding fee scale for clients, demonstrate adequate security measures, and prescribe standards and protocols by which supervised visitation or safe exchanges will occur.