HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Advocacy organizations and local officials from Philadelphia gathered today to thank Governor Tom Corbett for his 2013-14 budget proposal to increase funding for rape crisis services and prevention education.
Corbett's budget allocates $700,000 – a 10 percent increase over last year – to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), which would then distribute the funds among 50 rape crisis centers in local communities.
"Pennsylvania's system of rape crisis services is available 24/7 to support victims of this terrible crime," Corbett said. "It's time we recognize and mirror that support in Harrisburg."
Rape crisis centers serve more than 30,000 individuals in Pennsylvania each year. They also operate more than 25,000 school-based prevention programs and nearly 3,000 community prevention programs.
The funds would assist with emergency services such as a 24/7 hotline; financial aid; referral services to other community programs; accompaniment to police, hospital or court appointments; victim advocacy; and both primary and at-risk prevention programs.
"Too many women – and men – in Pennsylvania live in fear of reporting sexual violence and crimes," Corbett said. "It's our obligation to provide the environment, resources and services they need to come forward, and ultimately, move forward with their lives."
The announcement was made at Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR), a non-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate all forms of sexual violence through specialized treatment services, comprehensive prevention education programs, and advocacy for the rights of victims of sexual assault.
Representatives from PCAR were also in attendance.
"As CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, and on behalf of our network of 50 rape crisis programs, I applaud the Governor's recognition of the need for increased funding for rape crisis services," Delilah Rumburg, PCAR's chief executive officer said. "This increase helps support the healing of men, women, children and their families across Pennsylvania who live with the trauma of sexual victimization."
During his remarks, the governor also presented a proclamation to Carole Johnson, executive director of WOAR, recognizing the organization for 40 years of contributions to victim advocacy and services in the Philadelphia region.
Corbett's 2013-14 budget contains $28.4 billion in spending, focusing on several key areas: education, welfare, jobs, public safety, agriculture, pensions and transportation.
The budget includes the highest funding level in Pennsylvania history for basic education; a comprehensive, long-term solution to the state's transportation infrastructure needs; continued investments to help Pennsylvanians in need; as well as a pension reform plan to address the $41 billion in unfunded pension liability and provide both short- and long-term budget relief.
For more information, visit www.pa.gov.
Media contact: Christine Cronkright, 717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor