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Cuts to VOCA have Sexual Assault Survivors Struggling


Advocates for sexual assault survivors say they’re struggling because of a major funding decrease for crime victim services.

The federal Victims of Crime Act, or VOCA, has been cut by nearly 40 percent during the pandemic.

Taylr Ucker-Lauderman is the director of communications for the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. She says the cut is overloading their existing staff and could lead to a decrease in the services they can provide.

“We’re talking about things like crisis hotlines, counseling and therapy for survivors, court appointed advocates for children, support for child forensic interviews. So these are really, really important roles and not having people in these roles is harmful to our communities,” Ucker-Lauderman said.

She says they’re looking to the state legislature to help close the funding gap for rape crisis programs.

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Melissa Meyers is a senior at Kent pursuing a major in broadcast journalism. Along with interning at WKSU, she is also involved with Kent State's student-run news station, TV2 News. She currently anchors and produces the 6 pm newscast. After college she hopes to get a job working as a news reporter/anchor.
Sean Fitzgerald is a senior journalism major at Kent State University working as a 2020 summer news intern. Sean has been with Black Squirrel Radio, Kent State's student-run radio station since the spring of 2018 as a sports show host and co-host, a web article contributor and sports department coordinator. Sean hopes to pursue a career in sports journalism once he finishes school.