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County supervisors OK $600K to help fund local rape crisis centers

County steps up after state funding drops dramatically

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez pushed the Board of Supervisors to boost funding for rape crisis centers Tuesday.

The board approved a proposal from Chavez to fund $600,000 toward two rape crisis center providers in the county, YWCA Silicon Valley and Community Solutions.

The proposal passed on consent at Tuesday's meeting in a move that will increase support for sexual assault survivors who need quick access to services following an assault.

"I'm happy to play a leadership role and make sure we get these funds right now," Chavez said Tuesday. "We really need the state to step up and fund rape crisis services statewide."

The $600,000 will come from the county's general fund contingency reserve, with a $503,000 majority going to YWCA, and $97,000 going to Community Solutions. Chavez said this will help with staffing needs at both centers.

"Really this is our attempt at leveling the playing field for people in our community who are really in high need of these services," she said.

Tanis Crosby, CEO for YWCA, said this extra funding from the county shows local leaders are answering a call to action, where Gov. Gavin Newsom fell short when he did not renew $5 million in one-time funding for rape crisis centers in his May budget revision. Without that renewed funding, Crosby said statewide funding for programs like hers through next year will amount to just $45,000.

Crosby's organization and other rape crisis centers provide victim advocates who offer guidance and counseling to victims while reporting their assault.

"The state needs to step up," Crosby said. "We have state laws that provide survivors with the legal right for service, but the state does not fund this service."

The funding builds on the county's $5 million in annual, ongoing funding to help survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, which was approved by the board in May.

Mountain View Voice staff writer Kevin Forestieri contributed to this report.

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