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Local shelters get funding to help support crime victims


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- A pair of central Wisconsin women's shelters will be getting state and federal funding to help support victim's services.

It's part of a state and federal partnership program under the Violence against Women Act to fund groups that provide aid to victims of crimes. Jill Karofsky, Director of the Office of Crime Victim Services, says the funds are there to support those who are the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. "And these funds, in so many ways, help them. They support them at a time when victims positively need the support more than any other time, which is right after they've been victims of crimes."

The Women's Community in Wausau will be getting $56,000 dollars in grants, and the Wisconsin Rapids Family Center will get $64,000 to help support and train staff to better serve Hmong populations in the area. Karofsky says it's an especially vulnerable group. "We need to put time and resources and money to help victims heal as fast as possible, because victims are part of our community and they deserve to be on the path to healing as fast as possible."

State officials are also trying to do more to help rehabilitate offenders. Karofsky says it's a side of the issue they can't ignore. "We absolutely have to do that, because offenders, as you know, end up working with us and living with us, except for a very, very few that get sent away for life."

Most of all Karofsky wants women to know that people are there to help them out of terrible situations. "They're not alone, and there's resources out there that can help them. And that if you are a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, to please reach out and know you are not alone."