HARRISBURG—The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is grateful for the Rape Crisis increase in the General Assembly’s 2019-20 spending plan. We applaud members of the House and Senate for prioritizing funding for victims of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault and Gov. Tom Wolf for his ongoing commitment to campus sexual assault prevention through the It’s on Us campaign.
The 10% increase—approximately $900 thousand of the $34-billion state budget—was signed by Gov. Wolf today.
These funds will directly support rape crisis services and prevention locally, in all 67 counties of the Commonwealth. The need for help and support for rape crisis centers throughout the Commonwealth—the ‘Red Crosses’ that respond to sexual assault— is clear now more than ever.
We are in an unprecedented era in Pennsylvania and the nation—with a heightened awareness about sexual harassment, abuse, and assault and an increased need for care. The Sandusky trial, multiple Grand Jury reports detailing widespread child sexual abuse inside the Catholic church and the Salisbury school, campus sexual assaults on public and private campuses, sexual assaults of students by teachers, and the Barto and Cosby trials— have all publically outlined the issues we face in the Commonwealth and have placed Pennsylvania in the spotlight of the nation.
The PA network of community service providers sees the impacts of this spotlight first-hand. Investing in the PA network that serves survivors of sexual abuse in every county makes sense for the Commonwealth. It will enable more Pennsylvanians to receive care. It will equip more community members throughout the Commonwealth to stop sexual harassment, abuse, and assault before it occurs—making our homes, schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods safer for everyone.
PCAR expresses strong gratitude to the General Assembly and the Governor for approving a spending plan that will help rape crisis service providers.
PCAR works to end sexual violence and advocates for the rights and needs of sexual assault victims. We partner with a network of rape crisis centers to bring help, hope, and healing to people in all of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties. Last year, rape crisis centers provided services to approximately 30,000 victims. Each year, rape crisis centers teach over 300,000 Pennsylvanians how to stop sexual violence in their communities. Over 50,000 professionals are trained by rape crisis centers to enhance the Commonwealth’s systemic responses to victims.