New Status Proposed for Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center

Press Release from the Albany County Legislature’s Majority Office

Legislators Propose New Status for Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center

ALBANY (May 2, 2016) – The Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center would be protected in the county’s charter under an amendment recently approved by legislators.

The local law, introduced by Albany County Legislator Bryan M. Clenahan of District 30, would amend the charter by incorporating the Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center into it.

The center has for decades provided support, counseling and advocacy services for victims of sexual assaults and other crimes. The Albany County Legislature voted last month to put the center in the county charter. The vote sent the legislation to County Executive Daniel P. McCoy for consideration.

Adding the Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center to the county charter will protect it against any future attempts to close it or downsize its important programs, Clenahan said.

He said the local law accomplishes three things: “It sends a clear message that the center should be a permanent part of our government; it gives the center greater strength to apply for more grant opportunities; and provides crime victims comfort in knowing the center will be there.”

The Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center grew out of the organization “Albany Women Against Rape” (AWARE), which was founded in 1974 by a group of volunteers. It became the Albany County Rape Crisis Center in 1975, and adopted its current name and mission in 2001. Karen Ziegler works as director of the center, which operates a 24-hour Sexual Assault Hotline: (518) 447-7716.

“Crime victims need someone to turn to,” Democratic Majority Leader Frank Commisso said. “For decades, the Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center has been there for them. We want to make sure support that continues.”

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