INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly 50 Indiana organizations and agencies supporting sexual assault and domestic violence survivors will receive a financial boost starting next month.
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute announced this week that about $2.8 million in federal STOP Violence Against Women Formula grants, more commonly known as “STOP” funding, will go to agencies across the state starting the first of October.
”We received a little more than last year,” said Beth White, the president and CEO of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking.
White said ICESAHT will receive $140,000 in “STOP” funding to help with staffing and K-12 initiatives—a boost that has become even more important to White as Indiana faces a $30 million cut to “Victims of Crime Act” or “VOCA” funds starting in 2024.
”While we’re seeing an increase, a, you know, pretty healthy increase in this STOP funding, we are going to have a dramatic decrease in our VOCA funding,” White said.
The Indiana CJI said it awarded “STOP” funds to roughly 47 different agencies, but has yet to allocate the total amount given.
”There is still about a $200,000 amount remaining that we need to release,” CJI Executive Director Devon McDonald said.
McDonald said federal regulations require the remaining funds to be awarded to law enforcement agencies.
”We didn’t have enough law enforcement agencies that applied for funding,” McDonald said. ”We haven’t identified yet exactly when we’re going to open that additional funding stream.”
Both ICESAHT and the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence say state allocations for funding also doubled last legislative session, but that an additional push is needed ahead of the 2025 budget cycle.
”We were successfully able to offset our current loss, so that’s not predicting for our future losses,” ICADV Executive Director Laura Berry said. ”The decrease in VOCA funding is going to be very impactful on the service provision in the state of Indiana.”