The state of New York is taking a hard stance against sexual assault by devoting more money to the agencies working on the front lines. And since more victims are speaking out, advocates say the funding is right on time.
"One of the things that you always hear from not-for-profit agencies that it is very difiicult to sustain and grow their programs, and this commitment by this administration is telling those programs that we are going to do whatever we can to assist you in sustaining and growing those programs," said NYS Office of Victims Services Director Elizabeth Cronin.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul went to Family Services in Poughkeepsie to announce Governor Andrew Cuomo's pledge of an additional $6.5 million in funding for 55 victims services agencies. She says what has happened in 2017 represents a cultural shift.
"We have declared it's over," Hochul said. "It is over. It is over. Women no longer need to hide in the shadows of shame, feeling they had something to do with an assault on them."
The lieutenant governor wants organizations to be ready, because she thinks the need for victim assistance will grow.
"I think they're going to see a spike in people calling them and asking for assistance and finding out what their legal rights are," Hochul said.