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

Stephen M. Saland

March 27, 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 and domestic violence.

Family Services in Poughkeepsie will receive $44,550 for the purchase of medical equipment for their Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Program. The program has already exceeded the number of estimated child victim sexual assault cases. Their goal is to design an examination room that will accommodate children and their families in an age appropriate environment in addition to purchasing a critical piece of evidence gathering equipment to be used in many types of cases.

Susan West, President of Family Services said, "We are deeply grateful to Senator Saland for his long-standing support of our Crime Victims Assistance Program. He has repeatedly demonstrated his compassion for the most vulnerable members of our community. This newest funding will allow us to purchase updated medical equipment to offer state-of-the-art evidence collection services to victims of sexual and physical assault. In addition, the funds will help us furnish a pediatric examination room, which will allow us to accommodate children and their families in an age-appropriate environment. The Senator’s commitment allows us to be there and provide the highest quality of service at the time victims needs us the most."

Grace Smith House will receive $27,000 to replace the main heating system in two of its apartment buildings. For over twenty years, Grace Smith House has provided an open door to victims of domestic violence and their families, providing them, not just shelter but counseling, advocacy and education. It has also raised the public’s consciousness about the dangers of domestic violence and lobbied for new laws to protect victims.

Mary Wing, Director of Non-Residential Services said, "Grace Smith House is very appreciative of the support of Senator Saland through the years. He has been wonderful -- always helping to keep Grace Smith House open and helping the women and children in our residences."

"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. "The funds I have secured will assist Family Services’ Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Program to more effectively help children who have been traumatized by sexual assault. The funds for the new heating system for Grace Smith House apartment buildings will help provide a comfortable shelter for women and children fleeing the horrors of domestic violence," Saland concluded.