Funding restored for sexual assault programs

Over the past year, two groups battling sexual assault have teamed up with the governor to ensure programs for victims are restored.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has pledged to restore $4.6 million for rape crisis centers across the state, thanks to a collaboration with the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault and the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Earlier this year, the Alliance re-established the Bronx Sexual Assault Task Force, which is co-chaired by the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault and the Bronx DA’s Office. That group will convene a conference at Hostos Community College on Dec. 1, to map out available resources for victims and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Representatives from SAFE Centers of Excellence, a state health department initiative that trains hospitals to treat sexual assault victims, will be among the presenters. They and other specialists will lead discussions about treatment and legal strategies.

Currently only three hospital in the Bronx are certified to treat victims of sexual assault: Lincoln, Jacobi and Northwest Medical.

A program manager representing the Alliance, Josie Torielli, said that providing more Bronx hospitals with the know-how and the means to treat sexual assault victims is now a priority.

“We just want to make sure that every neighborhood in the city is receiving the same care,” said Torielli.