SC Victims’ Services Groups Awarded Almost $37 Million in Grants

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 3, 2020 – Groups that help crime victims across South Carolina will soon be getting almost $37 million in federal and state grants. The S.C. Public Safety Coordinating Council formally approved the grants earlier this year and the projects begin October 1, 2020.

The grants are distributed by the South Carolina Crime Victim Services Division in the Attorney General’s Office. The division was added to the Attorney General’s Office by state law in 2017.  It was combined from offices in the S.C. Department of Public Safety and the S.C. Department of Administration. There are three different types of grants: Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants; Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grants; and State Victim Assistance Program (SVAP) grants.

“These state and local agencies and non-profit groups do so much to help people who are going through traumatic circumstances. With these funds we are able to support agencies throughout the state as they assist victims of violent crime in their recovery,” Attorney General Alan Wilson said. “The amount we received from the federal government is lower this year because there’s been less court activity during the pandemic, but the needs that these groups address are still there.”

The grants are going to private non-profit groups, sheriff’s offices, police departments, solicitor’s offices, and state agencies. For example, Hopeful Horizons, based in Beaufort County, is receiving more than $1.3 million to provide direct services to victims. The Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault will receive three grants totaling more than $2.45 million to provide services to victims in their community, transitional shelter, and child abuse services. Safe Harbor in Greenville will receive a grant of more than $900,000 for comprehensive domestic violence victim services. Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands receives $1.4 million to provide sexual violence services. And Safe Passage in York County is receiving four grants totaling more than $982,000 to provide comprehensive services to victims of child abuse, victims of sexual assault, victims of domestic violence, and services to underserved populations.

“The grants staff of the Crime Victim Services Division in the Attorney General’s Office are honored to work with the hundreds of caring, dedicated professionals who help victims of crime every day in South Carolina,” said Burke Fitzpatrick, director of the division. “Our goal is to have the most effective, and the most compassionate, victim services system in the United States. We are on our way.”

Most of the money, about 98 percent, comes from federal grants, with the rest coming from state funds.  Both the Victims of Crime Act fund and the Violence Against Women Act awards are appropriated by Congress from the Victims of Crime Trust fund. It is important to note that the funds come from Federal fines and penalties, not from taxpayers, and it does not add to the national debt or deficit in any way.

You can see a complete list of the grants awarded here.

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