Advocacy groups that provide services to victims of sexual and domestic violence said today they can increase local and statewide services thanks to additional state funding.
Earlier this year the Kansas Legislature provided an additional $2 million for services in a state where only 40 percent of the counties have crises services available.
"This will really make a difference to thousands of women and children, and is a giant step toward achieving safety in homes and communities across the state," said Sandy Barnett, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.
The extra funding meant an additional $42,317 to GaDuGi of Lawrence, which provides support for victims of sexual violence. Lawrence's Women's Transitional Care Services received $110,000. WTCS provides shelter and peer counseling advocacy and other services to survivors of domestic violence.
The two groups will be able to expand services in Jefferson and Franklin counties.
"Ending violence takes each of us, but the impact that the Legislature can have on thousands of victims is huge," Sarah Terwelp, executive director of WTCS, said during a meeting at United Way of Douglas County offices, 2518 Ridge Court.
Also present were state Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, who introduced a budget amendment to get the funding increase, and state Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence.
"When everyone works together it's amazing what we can accomplish," Ballard said.