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Ortt delivers $30K to help domestic violence victims


As part of this year's state budget, Senator Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, secured a total of $30,000 to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Niagara County. Senator Ortt ceremonially presented the funding to two nonprofits, Family & Children's Service of Niagara and the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier.  

"Domestic violence and sexual assault impact every demographic. It can happen to anyone of any age, gender or race, and often leaves the victim with mental, physical and emotional scars," said Senator Ortt. "It's vital that we have wrap-around services available to make sure victims have the help they need. Ultimately, this funding will further community outreach, help to protect our vulnerable citizens, and help to put an end to violence in the home and community."

The YWCA of the Niagara Frontier received $20,000 to support domestic violence counseling and crisis services for victims seeking help at the North Tonawanda location. A portion of the funding will go toward research to examine best practices for domestic violence victims and implement a new model across Niagara County.    

On average, the YWCA houses about 128 domestic violence victims annually, and services an estimated 740 non-residential domestic violence victims in one year. In addition, the YWCA responds to an average of 60-70 sexual assault cases per year.  

Family & Children's Service of Niagara was presented with $10,000. The money will go toward its Passage House Shelter, a 15-bed emergency shelter in Niagara Falls for domestic violence victims and their children.

According to Family & Children's, the amount of victims throughout the county in need of help has increased over the past year. Last year, the nonprofit hit the highest number of occupancy than any other year in its 27-year history. The funding secured by Senator Ortt will support expenses related to the influx of individuals, including counseling services for survivors and their children, enhancing child enrichment programming, and around-the-clock staff coverage.

Over the past two years, Senator Ortt has secured $69,000 for the YWCA. An additional $10,000 was secured last year for Family & Children's Service of Niagara.

*Pictured at the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier's Lockport location from left: Family & Children's Service of Niagara Dir. of Domestic Violence Services Larissa Bachman; Family & Children's Service of Niagara Pres. & CEO Ken Sass; Senator Rob Ortt; and YWCA of the Niagara Frontier CEO Kathleen Granchelli.