Crisis Services of Erie County operates a 24-hour hotline. The agency also helps victims of rape and domestic violence. But those programs will be lost soon due to funding cuts in Albany.
The New York State Office of Victim Services is planning to cut its line for Crisis Services by more than $300,000. The money is earmarked for domestic violence and sexual assault Advocate Programs which help nearly 8,000 local victims a year, according to, Crisis Services Executive Director, Douglas Fabian. He said, that victims will be losing an immediate response.
"When police are often involved in domestic violence they like to then be able to hand that case off to someone who's going to be able to follow up and deal with the emotions. And deal with the human service aspect of it, 'where should these people go? Who should they be referred to?'
Fabian said, case managers also represent victims in court to keep the perpetrator from trying to inflict more harm.
"This is what we're known for. This is what we do well. We don't expect other agencies to do it because they don't have the infrastructure."
If program funding is not restored, Fabian said, Crisis Services will be forced to eliminate 5 to 6 full-time jobs by the end of this month.
State Senator Timothy Kennedy has launched an on-line petition. And Kennedy's calling on the Office of Victim Services to reverse its decision.