The K-State Center for Advocacy, Response and Education received the Victims of Crime Act grant for the eighth consecutive year, Stephanie Foran, assistant director of CARE, said.
“[VOCA] is a grant that we receive from the Kansas governor’s grant program, and it’s distributed by the federal government,” Foran said. “Each state gets a certain amount of money allocated to them, and then different organizations apply and they get funding based on that.”
CARE provides an outlet for students, staff and faculty who are survivors of sexual violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual harrassment, according to the CARE website.
“CARE is important to help get students connected with resources, because many students have no other ways of reaching out,” Carly Saia, freshman in education, said.
Foran said the VOCA grant is extremely important to CARE and their mission to help students.
“It covers our staff salaries, and we wouldn’t be able to function without the VOCA grant,” Foran said. “It covers two full-time survivor advocates and also our survivor intake specialist. It partially covers my salary, and it partially covers the salary of my direct supervisor. Without that, it would just be me … so we would lose a lot of our capabilities to help students.”
Justin Frederick, interim director of the Office of Institutional Equity, said the VOCA grant benefits victims seeking help through CARE.
“[VOCA] is a federal law that was developed to put support back into crime victims and their families,” Frederick said. “What makes VOCA unique is that it is only available to individuals who meet certain criteria as victims of crime. It helps provide services to individuals who’ve had their life altered.”
Frederick said the VOCA grant application process is extremely collaborative.
“We work with sponsored programs who are a huge support to us. We work with our financial offices over at Unger to flush out our budget,” Frederick said. “There’s also the narrative, where we set goals. It takes a lot of time, everything is down to the penny.”
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Frederick said he is certain that CARE is deserving of the VOCA grant.
“The staff and the work they do with the students and staff and faculty they serve makes them very deserving,” Frederick said. “We have done a good job of managing the grant responsibly, but also making sure that we are finding ways to best serve the populations that we’re putting in our goals.”
Foran said they hope by using grants like VOCA, CARE can continue to grow and help more of the K-State community.
“The big thing for us right now is awareness,” Foran said. “It’s getting people to know where we are and what we do. I feel like a lot of people come to K-State and they aren’t thinking about sexual assault. They aren’t thinking about domestic violence … and then something not so great happens, and they wonder ‘where do I go?’ … There are people who care, there are people who will help you regardless of your circumstances.”
More information about CARE and its services can be found at the CARE office in 206 Holton Hall or via their email.