Rhode Island’s only agency focused on helping victims of sexual assault is observing its 40th anniversary. Day One hopes the state’s congressional delegation can secure the federal funding they need to continue.
U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse are visiting the Providence offices of Day One in honor of their anniversary and National Sexual Assault Awareness month. The senators voted to reauthorize the federal Violence Against Women Act. But Day One executive director Peg Langhammer says congress must now appropriate funds for it –and that’s in an uncertain budget climate.
“We have confidence that it will be re-appropriated, but, as you know, with the financial situation in Washington, and all of the cuts that everyone is suffering in funding sources, we know VAWA will be affected, we don’t know at this point to what extent," said Langhammer.
Langhammer says Rhode Island has made progress on clearing any backlog of untested rape kits, which law enforcement uses to collect evidence. But she says too many Rhode Islanders, many of them children, still become victims of sexual assault.