RAINN Calls for Funding for SASP
August 2006 — RAINN this month urged the U.S. Attorney General to support $50 million in funding for the new Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP), which is being considered for inclusion in the administration's fiscal year 2008 budget. By making a federal funding stream available for direct services to sexual assault victims, SASP would give rape crisis centers and their partners, the state coalitions against sexual assault, better tools to help sexual assault victims. SASP was enacted as part of the 2005 Violence Against Women Act.
"Rape crisis centers' ability to serve the needs of all victims of sexual assault has historically been hampered by a significant lack of resources," said Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of RAINN, in his August 23 letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
"We sincerely hope that you will support fully funding the Sexual Assault Services Program at $50 million for FY 2008 so that victims of sexual violence can receive the counseling and advocacy they so desperately need," continued Berkowitz.
During the fiscal year 2007 appropriations cycle, RAINN also called on Congress to provide full funding for SASP. RAINN met with congressional appropriations staff, cosigned letters to members of Congress, and circulated letters for signature by state coalitions in key states. As of this writing, the appropriations committees in both chambers of Congress have recommended $5 million in funding for the program in fiscal year 2007.
Read the full text of Scott Berkowitz's letter to Attorney General Gonzales.
For more information about The Sexual Assault Services Program, download this fact sheet (PDF, 50KB) for the program in fiscal year 2007.