Funding in HUD bill will go to Ada County Family Justice Center
Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has won approval to send $1 million in federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants to Ada County to aid in completion of a county Family Justice Center for victims of domestic violence and spousal and child abuse. The Center is expected to be a one-stop center to assist victims of domestic violence and abuse with medical, legal, and counseling assistance and for other needs. â??Estimates are that women, and often children, are battered every nine seconds in the United States and we know the problem is growing in Idaho. We need response, awareness, and resources, and it is right for the federal government to step up and play a role in fighting domestic violence,â?? Crapo said in inserting language into the Fiscal Year 2006 Transportation, Treasury, and Housing Appropriations Bill for the Ada County facility. The bill passed the full Senate on a vote of 93-1. The $1 million is expected to be maintained as the bill goes to a House-Senate conference committee. The language directing the money to Ada County also offers the flexibility that some funds may also be used for a health detox facility being considered by the county. Ada County Commissioners Rick Yzaguirre, Judy Peavey-Derr and Fred Tilman and Prosecutor Greg Bower announced the effort to construct the Family Justice Center by prioritizing services for victims along with prosecution of those responsible for domestic violence. A group of partners including Saint Alphonsus and St. Lukeâ??s Regional Medical Centers, all local law enforcement agencies, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, and women and children advocacy groups are assisting in the effort. â??We as Commissioners want to respond more expeditiously to the abuse of women and children,â?? said Commission Chairman Rick Yzaguirre. â??We appreciate the efforts of our local partners in getting the project underway and Senator Crapoâ??s efforts will definitely kick-start our efforts to get the Family Justice Center open in the coming year.â?? â??There is no excuse for abuse and victims must have access to assistance,â?? said Prosecutor Bower. â??The Family Justice Center will offer victim-centered response and an interagency approach to expedite communication and case-handling for the victims of abuse, neglect, and domestic violence.â?? Once completed, the Family Justice Center would be able to offer investigation and prosecution services, health care and medical evaluations, all in a one-stop victim-friendly environment which would also provide a forum for educating community residents, professionals, and others about the issues surrounding child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Crapo noted a similar one-stop facility is being readied in Canyon County. Sue Fellen, the Executive Director for the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, said Crapoâ??s effort to fund the Ada County Center â??demonstrates his passion and commitment to the victims of violence in Idaho.â?? Last year, Crapo was named Honorary Chairman of the Idaho Coalition for his ongoing effort in Congress to fight domestic and sexual abuse. Crapoâ??s comments on the Family Justice Center funding are available via satellite today:1:45â??2:15 p.m. Mountain Time / 12:45â??1:15 p.m. Pacific TImeC-Band, Galaxy 3, Transponder 7 Horizontal, Downlink Frequency 3840, Standard AudioOrC-Band, AMC 1, Transponder 20 Vertical, Downlink Frequency 4100, Standard Audio FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. If you encounter any difficulties with the system, please contact Susan Wheeler at the above number. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://src.senate.gov/radio.