Crime victim assistance programs to undergo major restructuring - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Crime victim assistance programs to undergo major restructuring

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Agencies that help people who need shelter and victims of domestic violence and sexual assault crimes will be regional starting July 1. Agencies that help people who need shelter and victims of domestic violence and sexual assault crimes will be regional starting July 1.
WAVERLY (KWWL) -

Agencies that help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault crimes will undergo major restructuring starting July 1.

That's because the Iowa Attorney General's Office has reorganized service providers into six different regions, eliminating some agencies and consolidating and expanding others.

The change comes after the state lost more than $1 million in federal funding for victim assistance programs, according to Janelle Melohn, director of the Crime Victim Assistance Division (CVAD) for the State of Iowa.

Melohn said only two applications for funding were denied in the state.

She said there were several agencies that did not apply to be a regional provider for one reason or another.

Each region will have an agency that provides shelter, another that provides assistance to victims of domestic violence, and a third that provides services to victims of sexual assault.

This means some service providers could be based in a different county than where the victim is.

For years, Cedar Valley Friends of the Family in Waverly has provided shelter to anyone in need, along with services to victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. The organization has served Butler, Chickasaw and Bremer counties.

But because of the statewide restructuring, Cedar Valley Friends of the Family will now only provide shelter services to 14 counties in northeast Iowa.

"Now we'll be able to just focus on that and be really good at providing shelter services, and I think on the flip side we're going to get some really good programs coming in providing sexual assault and domestic violence services too," said Ben Brustkern, executive director at Cedar Valley Friends of the Family.

Other agencies in the same region will take over services for people impacted by domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

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