Senator Saland Announces Funding For Local Victims’ Services In Columbia County

Stephen M. Saland

March 26, 2009

Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) today announced he has secured funding in the 2008-2009 State Budget for two organizations whose mission is to help victims of sexual assault.

The Child Advocacy Program at Columbia Memorial Hospital will receive $3,485 for the installation of a keyless entry system on the Program’s Observation Room door and a lens for a camera in the examination room. Child Advocacy Centers are multidisciplinary and are designed to provide a child-friendly setting for children who have been the victim of a sexual assault to be examined and interviewed. Both physical and psychological examinations, as well as interviews by law enforcement and evidence retrieval, are done at one location by experts trained in dealing with children, to prevent further trauma to the child.

"During National Crime Victim’s Rights Week, it is especially appropriate to recognize those organizations which advocate for victims’ rights and provide services to traumatized victims," said Senator Saland." "I am most pleased to have been able to secure funding for a keyless entry system for the Child Advocacy Center, which will provide an added measure of safety and confidentiality for the Center and the children it serves, and the lens which will enhance the ability of health care professionals to conduct examinations."

Senator Saland also secured $1,500 for The REACH Center, which provides counseling and therapy to survivors of crime and abuse. The funding will be used to purchase laptop computers and associated equipment for The REACH Center’s Hudson office.

Elsa FitzMaurice, Executive Director of The REACH Center, Inc. said "We would like to thank Senator Saland for being a long time supporter of The REACH Center and coming through for us this year. It is certainly timely, as this is Crime Victims Week."

"These computers will help The REACH Center continue its mission of, not only providing counseling and therapy for victims, but also following up with victims needing further assistance, as well as conducting informative seminars" said Senator Saland."