Sexual Assault Service Providers (SASPs) were recently informed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that their SAVS grants will be reduced by 42.5% in 2012.
These cuts stem from three developments. First, the SAVS program was cut 10% in the 2011-13 state budget. Second, as a result of department lapses contained in the state budget, SASPs were informed last month by DOJ that an additional cut of 5.2% would be made to the SAVS program. Finally, revenue from the Crime Victim and Witness surcharge that funds SAVAS has been declining in recent years.
What Can you do?
We need you to make calls to the Governor and your state legislators to tell them to:
Reverse the 5.2% lapse currently assigned to the SAVS program
Support a strong commitment to funding the SAVS program with General Purpose Revenue to supplement the surcharge revenue in the next budget
Where possible, if you can provide stories from survivors about the value of services provided by SASP’s that would be extremely helpful
Governor Walker Contact Information: http://walker.wi.gov/section.asp?linkid=1714&locid=177
Contact your state legislators: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/w3asp/waml/waml.aspx
SAVS is the only state program which provides funds to Wisconsin’s Sexual Assault Service Providers (SASPs).
Sexual assault is a clear public safety issue. Further cutting this critical funding at the same time that the numbers of sexual assault victims seeking services is rising dramatically does not indicate that public safety and services are a priority as they need to be. A review of SASP data in 2010 revealed that many SASP’s have experienced increases of over 100% in the number of victims coming through their doors in just the last few years.
SASP’s allow victims to come forward in an environment that is safe, supportive and they provide critical links to the criminal justice system. This in turn enhances the ability of the criminal justice system to hold perpetrators accountable.