Ohio House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) released the following statement upon House passage of Sub. HB 108, which would create a funding mechanism for Rape Crisis Programs administered by the Attorney General and funded through registration fees of sex offenders, new fines for sexually oriented offenses and donations.
“I applaud the creation of a state funding mechanism for the 27 Rape Crisis Centers in Ohio. These centers provide critical care and assistance to rape survivors. Rape is a heinous crime that happens all too often, and can have life altering effects on the victims and their families. This fund is a step in the right direction but we must do more to prevent rape – not just deal with the aftermath.”
The State Victims Assistance Advisory Council, which provides recommendations and advocacy for victim services and polices, would gain two new members under HB 108.
If the bill becomes law, Ohio would be more in line with neighboring states that provide dedicated state funding for similar rape crisis programs and services. Currently, Ohio’s network of rape crisis programs provides coverage to 37 counties and receives no state funding.