Collins, King Announce $1.18 Million in Funding for Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Assistance Programs

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today announced that the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) has awarded a total of $1,180,000 in grant funding to two Maine organizations to implement programs that support victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Of that funding, $500,000 will be awarded to the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA) in Augusta and $680,000 will be awarded to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (MCEDV), also located in Augusta.

“Ensuring the full spectrum of legal and supportive services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in rural areas presents unique challenges,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “The funding will bolster these organizations’ ability to provide high-quality assistance to victims, particularly children, in these areas, as well as trauma-response training to local officials involved in Child Protective Services and victims’ advocacy.”

The funding comes through the U.S. Department of Justice OVW’s Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Assistance Grant Program. According to the OVW, the program supports projects that are uniquely designed to address and prevent domestic violence and sex crimes in rural areas.

The Maine organizations receiving funding are as follows:

  • Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA) in Augusta will receive $500,000 to increase accessibility of sexual assault services in three of Maine’s most rural regions (Downeast, the Highlands, and the Midcoast), which include Washington, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo, and Knox Counties. The project’s primary goal is to enhance specialized sexual violence services such as hiring community-based rural outreach advocates in each region, collaborating on service delivery through secure software and technology, creating region-specific outreach materials, providing in-person and drop-in sexual assault advocacy and support, providing direct services via secure telecommunication, providing training and awareness education for local partners and law enforcement, and providing community outreach and prevention education for victims.
  • Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (MCEDV) will receive $680,000 to strengthen and enhance domestic violence victim services and safety across Aroostook, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Somerset, Waldo, and Washington Counties. MCEDV will collaborate with Maine Domestic Violence Resource Centers (MDVRs), Child Protective Services (CPS) district offices, and other local organizations to provide technical assistance and training to enhance CPS Intake Unit’s capacity to identify domestic violence and evaluate risk; to expand the capacity and awareness of partner organizations; and provide treatment, counseling, advocacy, legal assistance, and long and short-term victim and population specific services.