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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Thursday, December 12, 2013

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Cristina Williams, Manager, Communications & Public Relations, RICADV; Phone: 401-467-9940; cristina@ricadv.org; www.ricadv.org/; Facebook.com/RICADV; Twitter @RICADV

Ashley Gingerella O'Shea, Associate Director of Communications, Office of Rhode Island General Treasurer; Phone: 401-222-2241; aoshea@treasury.ri.gov; treasury.ri.gov; Facebook.com/ginamraimondo; Twitter @ginaraimondo

The RICADV extends KNOW MORE VIDEO PROJECT to end domestic violence with Raimondo's video about new emergency relocation funding for victims of crime

[Providence, RI – 12/11/13] Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) may be over, but the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence will continue to urge all Rhode Islanders to act to prevent domestic abuse and intervene when they see it happening.

"It is through community partnerships and programs such as the Crime Victim Compensation Program that we will end domestic violence. In coming together, we accomplish many things: we are helping others to KNOW MORE about how to help victims of domestic violence, and we are giving victims a way out of abusive situations. By doing so, we also possibly prevent a domestic violence tragedy," said Deborah DeBare, Executive Director of the RICADV. "It will take collective efforts by each and every one of us to end domestic violence. The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence is committed to educating bystanders and will provide additional tools, resources and training in the months to come."

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the RICADV launched the now nationally-recognized KNOW MORE VIDEO PROJECT that is designed to help bystanders KNOW MORE about domestic violence and provide ways to help. The KNOW MORE VIDEO PROJECT is part of the digital tools section of the RICADV's website, www.ricadv.org.

General Treasurer Gina Raimondo partnered with the RICADV by creating a video for the project. The video highlights the Crime Victim Compensation Program, which now also provides relocation expenses to victims of violent crime, including those impacted by domestic violence.

The goal of the Rhode Island Crime Victim Compensation Program is to help those who have suffered personal injury from a violent crime and may be eligible for financial assistance. The program provides financial compensation to crime victims for expenses such as medical bills, loss of earnings and funeral expenses, up to $25,000.

"Providing relocation expenses to domestic violence survivors is one way my office is working with the RICADV to find solutions to keep women and families safe," said Treasurer Raimondo. "Often for victims of domestic violence, rebuilding begins with finding a new place to call home or traveling to loved ones for protection."

"By providing these vital programs and services, we are saving lives," added DeBare. "Financial abuse is all too common in domestic violence, and through this funding, victims are empowered in their journeys to becoming survivors."

The bill was approved during the 2013 legislative season and is already working.

"The program helped when I needed it most. I called and, without delay, the application was processed. It helped out tremendously, taking a load offso that I could get back on my feet. Relocation help has been wonderful; I was lucky to quickly find a place, and the program paid without delay," said a victim of domestic violence of her experience.

It often just takes one step or intervention to change the course of a victim's life. Domestic violence survivors from SOAR (Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships) commonly say that it was one act of intervention that helped them to move past the violence and start their lives again. As another victim recently said of her experience:

"The Crime Victim Program helped me so very much. I am forever thankful because my mind is now at ease. I did not have the money to move, and getting help from [this] program reinforced the idea that leaving this violent relationship was the right decision. You know, sometimes I was second-guessing myself. But now I am in a new apartment and have found a sense of peace."

The RICADV is expanding the KNOW MORE VIDEO PROJECT with a Spanish video from the Treasury's Crime Victim Compensation Fund Manager, Melba Depena, and videos in 2014 from its TEN MEN and youth ambassadors. All videos can be found on the RICADV's digital tools page (English & Spanish).  For more information about the RICADV and its six local member agencies that provide a wide array of services for victims – including 24-hour hotline support, emergency shelter, support groups, counseling services, and assistance with the legal system – call the statewide Helpline at 800-494-8100. If someone is being hurt, call 911 immediately.

For more information about the Crime Victim Compensation Program, call 401-462-7655 or visit www.treasury.ri.gov/divisions/crimevictim.

ABOUT RICADV: The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. The RICADV was formed in 1979 to support and assist the six domestic violence prevention agencies in Rhode Island. The organization also provides leadership to its six member agencies, strives to create justice for victims, and raises awareness on the issue of domestic violence in Rhode Island.

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