Suffolk, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today announced $400,000 for the Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk (VIBS) to provide resources and counseling to young victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Partnering with the Long Island Head Start and Child Protective Services-Preventive Services, the VIBS will assist young children exposed to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking along with their non-abusing parent. The federal grant is being awarded through the Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women Program.
“It is critical that we provide young victims of sexual and domestic violence with the support and safety they need,” Senator Gillibrand said. “These federal dollars will put the resources we need on the ground to effectively communicate, counsel, and identify appropriate victim services for children and their parents.”
“All of us at VIBS are grateful for this opportunity to partner with Long Island Head Start in providing counseling and advocacy to children who have been sexually abused or have witnessed domestic violence,” Pamela Johnson, Executive Director of VIBS said. Unique to this project, the children and their caretakers will participate in these services in the Head Start setting, which is a familiar and safe place for them.”
Funding will help provide culturally and linguistically appropriate counseling for young children who have been exposed to sexual assault or domestic violence. The project will also provide support for those children’s non-abusing parents or caretakers, and training for Head Start and Child Protective Services on how to identify and safely refer children and non-abusing parents or caretakers for victim services.