April 30, 2015

Governor Cuomo Announces $4 Million Federal Grant to Fight Sexual Violence in New York State

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $4 Million Federal...

Funding Used to Establish Regional Centers for Sexual Violence Prevention in Counties with Highest Rates of Reported Rape


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $4 million federal grant designating community organizations across the state as Regional Centers for Sexual Violence Prevention, an initiative overseen by the state Department of Health. The Regional Centers are located in counties which had the highest average number of reported rapes and sexual assaults between 2007 and 2011. The grant is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Rape Prevention Education Program.


“This funding will help combat sexual violence across the state and complements our ongoing efforts to fight sexual assault on college campuses,” Governor Cuomo said. “My administration is committed to ensuring the rights and safety of sexual violence victims and implementing policies that prevent such horrific acts from occurring in the first place. The Regional Centers will help us achieve that goal by providing communities with the research and resources they need to create safer, violence-free environments.”


The federal funding has already been allocated to the Regional Centers, which are in the process of developing and implementing primary prevention and community-level strategies geared at decreasing sexual violence in their respective regions. These strategies include community mobilization and coalition building among high school and college students, families, youth programs, employers and other community partners to address the behaviors, norms and policies that impact sexual violence.


Grant recipients are:




Total Award

The Retreat, Inc.

Nassau, Suffolk


The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault

Queens, Bronx, Kings, New York



Family Services, Inc.

Westchester, Dutchess, Orange


Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center

Albany, Schenectady, Oneida


Vera House, Inc.

Onondaga, Broome


Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service, Inc.

Erie, Monroe and Niagara



To assist the Regional Centers in their prevention efforts, the Department of Health also plans to fund a Statewide Training and Technical Assistance Center for Sexual Violence Prevention. The Center will serve as a clearinghouse for current research-based best practices in sexual violence prevention. It will also offer training and technical assistance through webinars and in-person sessions to the six grant recipients and their community partners. Funding for the statewide center is expected to be available later this year. 


This initiative is another component of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to fighting sexual violence in New York State and complements his “Enough is Enough” campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses. The Governor launched the campaign earlier this year. It has been embraced statewide by an array of public officials, organizations and advocates in an effort to pass the Governor’s comprehensive sexual assault prevention and response policy for all colleges and universities in New York.


Congressman Charles B. Rangel said, "Congratulations to the New York State Department of Health for their efforts in securing this incredibly important funding. I applaud Gov. Cuomo's commitment to combat sexual violence, which is a major public health issue. We must continue to ensure that our community centers have the resources available to support victims and prevention efforts, and that our constituents are receiving the critical help they need. This grant will provide great relief to areas, including my congressional district, that require it the most."


Congressman Eliot Engel said, “I applaud the Centers for Disease Control’s Rape Prevention Education Program for treating sexual violence as the public health threat that it is, and for allocating four million dollars in federal grant money to the state of New York for the designation of six Regional Centers for Sexual Violence Prevention. These centers will prove to be an invaluable resource for victims of sexual violence all throughout the state.”


Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey said, “Sexual violence has no place in our society, and I’m glad these organizations will be able to support prevention activities in communities throughout New York. Everyone has the right to live and work in safe and secure environments and, as Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight for increased funding for critical programs that help eradicate sexual violence and assist victims.”


Congressman José E. Serrano said, “Sexual violence is serious problem that affects us all. This federal funding will help us continue to address sexual violence by providing local organizations in high risk areas with the financial support they need to create prevention and support programs that will help make our communities safer, stronger, and healthier. I am glad to see that a significant portion of these funds has been awarded to The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, which serves the Bronx."


Congressman Jerrold Nadler said, “The statistics behind sexual violence in this country are staggering, and we are not doing all we can to ensure every victim has access to the support and justice they deserve. We are pleased that the federal government has made available this critical funding to support Regional Centers for Sexual Violence Prevention in the state and I believe this is an important step towards making our communities a safer place for everyone.”


Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health for their work to reduce the prevalence of sexual violence in our state. It is shocking that nearly one in five women have been raped at some time in their lives. We must do more to prevent sexual violence in our communities, and that’s why the Centers for Disease Control’s Rape Prevention Education Program is so important. I will continue working to deliver full funding for this vital federally-funded program.”


Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez said, “Sexual assault is an unconscionable crime and we must do everything possible to prevent these tragedies and support survivors.  These federal resources will help foster education and outreach initiatives, while supporting locally based organizations that have a proven track record of mobilizing communities against sexual violence.”


Congressman Joe Crowley said, “Unfortunately, the incidences of sexual violence remain much too prevalent across New York. The effects are often devastating and long-lasting for our communities, which is why it is imperative that we recommit ourselves to doing everything possible to help ensure New Yorkers’ safety.  I thank Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health for administering these federal dollars to community organizations carrying out this very important prevention initiative that addresses a major public health issue.”


Congressman Steve Israel said, “We must confront sexual violence head on to prevent it from spreading in our communities. These much-needed funds will help The Retreat, Inc. and The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault continue the critical work they are doing on education and prevention and providing compassionate care for victims in Queens and Long Island.”


Congressman Brian Higgins, a member of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, said, “Crisis Services is an outstanding resource when people need it most. This federal grant will support awareness and prevention efforts in Western New York.”


Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke said, “We have a responsibility to end sexual violence here and around the world. Today, more than one in three women experience sexual or physical violence, most often from an intimate partner. This type of violence results in serious harm to the health of women and effectively prevents many women from full participation in their civil society.  Women living with the threat of violence cannot share in the full blessings of freedom. I commend Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health for the efforts to work with organizations based in communities across the State of New York to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault.”


Congressman Paul Tonko said, "This funding will help Albany County better treat and protect victims of sexual violence, and will reduce occurrences of assault by focusing on high-risk areas and making sure that personnel on the ground have the resources they require. I thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing this need and directing much needed support to our communities. By finding the best practices to deal with sexual violence, we can start to make real progress in helping Albany – and communities like it across the nation – to address this issue at its core."


Congressman Richard Hanna said, “No community is immune to sexual violence, and this federal funding will ensure that there is somewhere to turn for those in high risk areas in our community. These resources will assist victims and help with prevention efforts to decrease sexual violence in our communities. Assisting victims at very critical times is essential and must be a main focus. It is also my hope that these preventative measures will help make our communities safer.”


Congressman Hakeem Jeffries said, "Preventing sexual violence is one of the most important responsibilities we have as public servants. This federal grant will provide much-needed funding to support anti-assault mobilization and coalition building efforts in our community. Governor Cuomo and my colleagues in Congress should all be commended for their pivotal efforts in securing support for such an important effort."


Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said, “Sexual violence is an unspeakably brutal offense that occurs in communities across the Hudson Valley. This crucial investment speeds resources to organizations on the front lines to help them prevent these crimes from happening in the future.”


Congresswoman Grace Meng said, “Sexual violence is a despicable crime and we must make certain that victims receive all the help they need. But it is also essential that we do all we can to prevent these heinous act from occurring, and these important funds will go a long way towards accomplishing that critical goal.”


Congressman John Katko said, “Sexual abuse and violence affects people of all ages, races, religions, and socio-economic conditions – it does not discriminate.  In Central New York, Vera House is an essential resource in the fight against domestic violence and sexual assault. This funding will allow Vera House to continue its imperative work to provide sexual violence education and prevention programming, as well as shelter and counseling services for women, men, and children so that as a community, we can work to end this destructive cycle.”


Congresswoman Kathleen Rice said, “Throughout my career as a prosecutor, I’ve known too many victims of sexual violence and seen too often how this destructive crime is ignored in our communities. We need to change that – we need aggressive, vocal advocates at the ground level working to raise awareness and mobilize our communities to prevent sexual assaults before they occur, and these funds will go a long way to support those efforts. This investment will make our communities safer, stronger and healthier, and most importantly it will help prevent innocent people from suffering irreparable harm.”






Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office

New York City Press Office:  212.681.4640

Albany Press Office:  518.474.8418