DHI Media Staff Report

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced recently that he is awarding $79.5 million to 356 crime victim service providers across Ohio as part of the “Ohio Attorney General’s Expanding Services and Empowering Victims Initiative.” Several area organizations and programs will receive funds.

Attorney General DeWine created the initiative in 2015 to determine how grant funds could best be spent to serve victims of crime in Ohio.

“In the aftermath of a crime, it’s critically important that victims have easy access to comprehensive care and services,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Through these grants, agencies throughout the state will be able to continue or even expand upon the ways they help victims of crime in Ohio.”

The $79.5 million in funds is being awarded from Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant funding awarded to Ohio from the U.S. Department of Justice. The fund is financed by federal settlements, fines, and fees.

As part of separate grant funding also announced recently, Attorney General DeWine awarded 195 crime victim service agencies with $3.4 million in grants from the State Victim Assistance Act (SVAA).

The YWCA of Van Wert County will receive $283,081.05 from VOCA for its domestic violence shelter, which not only serves Van Wert County, but also Allen, Auglaize, Mercer and Paulding.

Van Wert County Victims Services will receive $41,258.36 from VOCA for its prosecutor program.

Crisis Care Line in Van Wert and Paulding counties will get $140,573.51 from VOCA for its domestic violence shelter.

Area Agency on Aging 3 will receive $244,355.55 from VOCA for its elder abuse victim advocacy program.

Crime Victim Services of Allen County, which serves Van Wert, Paulding, Allen, Putnam, Mercer and several other counties in the area, will receive $1,558,305.11 from VOCA and $7,500 from SVAA. The funds will go to the child advocacy center, domestic violence shelter, sexual assault program and court appointed special advocate program.

Legal Aid of Western Ohio which serves several counties on the west side of the state including Van Wert, Paulding and Mercer counties will receive $275,001 from VOCA for its legal services program.

Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Assistance Program will receive $28.212.64 from VOCA and $2,639 from SVAA.

OUR Home, Inc., a domestic violence shelter in Mercer County, will receive $85,215.86 from VOCA and $18.136 from SVAA.

The Paulding County Prosecutor program will receive $55,745.69 from VOCA and $9,589 from SVAA.

Of the $79.5 million in grants announced, an estimated $25 million will go toward providing services to domestic violence victims, approximately $20 million will go toward serving victims of sexual assault, and more than $14 million will go toward services for abused children. Additional funds will assist agencies that provide services to at-risk youth, victims with disabilities, and other victims that traditionally have not accessed victim services.