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Phoenix Accepts $2.28 Million to Expand and Enhance Services to Crime VictimsPhoenix Accepts $2.28 Million to Expand and Enhance Services to Crime Victims<div class="ExternalClass08A667088D0C498C8BA182290FEE0FAA"><p>The city's resources and capacity to aid victims of crime in Phoenix will get a big boost from $2.28 million in new grants from the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). The City Council formally voted to accept grant funds at today's formal meeting. </p><p>The services funded by the grant will include:</p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>The addition of four full-time victim advocates at the city's Family Advocacy Center to increase the availability of services at the center and expand its reach through mobile outreach and satellite facilities. Services will also be expanded to engage victims of human trafficking and increase victim's access to immediate orders of protection.</li><li>The addition of seven full-time victim advocates in the City Prosecutor's Office to reduce caseloads and increase personalized services including safety planning and connection to resources.</li><li>Expanded service hours for the Fire Department's Community Assistance Program which provides 24/7 on-scene crisis intervention and stabilization, victim rights and education, grief support and assistance with investigations on emergency scenes.</li></ul><p><strong>"</strong>Our commitment to stop human trafficking and domestic violence in Phoenix doesn't begin and end with investigating crimes and arresting perpetrators," said Mayor Greg Stanton. "We must do everything we can to help victims of crime in their time of tremendous vulnerability and need. These grants help that mission significantly."</p><p>In fiscal year 2015 the court's Victim Services Unit assisted 5,633 victims, with 450 victims for every court advocate. The newly funded positions should decrease that ratio to 180 victims for each advocate, allowing them to focus more time and attention on each person. The FAC served 1,200 victims last fiscal year and estimates being able to serve an additional 900 with the new positions. The Fire Department estimates serving up to 5,000 victims annually with the new positions. The VOCA grant is through September, 2016 with a one-year renewal option. </p><p>"These awards will help us continue to battle human and sex trafficking from all sides, and will allow a higher level of assistance to crime victims when they are at their most vulnerable and in greatest need," said Councilman Jim Waring, chair of the Mayor's Human Trafficking Task Force.<strong> </strong></p><p>"These funds will boost our ability to offer immediate aid and services to victims of domestic violence, which can improve the odds that victims will find long-term safety and security," said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, who sits on the Maricopa Association of Government's Regional Domestic Violence Council. </p><p>"Perpetrators of domestic violence want their victims to feel isolated and dependent," said Councilwoman Laura Pastor, chair of the City Council's Parks, Arts, Transportation and Education Subcommittee. "These grant funds will allow us to aid more victims on-scene, when they may feel most alone and vulnerable." </p><p>"This is one more example of the city of Phoenix finding all available resources to improve the safety of our neighborhoods," said Councilman Michael Nowakowski, chair of the City Council's Public Safety and Veterans Subcommittee. "This will send a signal to victims of crime that their community and city is committed to their safety." </p></div>2/3/2016 10:00:00 PMAlejandro Montiel, 602-534-3443David Urbinato602-495-5405