Last week, Governor Christie signed the 2015 budget which included an additional $400,000 to support critical services for survivors of sexual violence throughout the State of New Jersey.

“This increase represents the largest line item sexual violence support services have ever received in the state budget, with $1.3M now being allocated to the services provided by the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) and our member organizations,” said Patricia Teffenhart, NJCASA’s Executive Director.

NJCASA serves as the statewide voice for New Jersey’s twenty-one county-based rape crisis centers and the Rutgers University Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance. NJCASA took the lead on budget related advocacy on behalf of its member organizations and convened meetings with legislators over the last eight months to discuss the need for this increase.

“NJCASA’s member organizations provide critical services throughout New Jersey. This additional funding will enable each county to expand its response to individuals in need through increased hotline capacity, counseling services, or crisis response support. Each of our organizations provides these essential services 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. We are pleased that the legislature, and the Governor, support our work and the survivors we serve,” said Teffenhart.