TOPEKA – The Great Bend-based Family Crisis Center was awarded a grant for its crime victim and witness program, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Thursday.
The center was awarded $59,000 to support advocacy programs for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The grant will also support forensic interviews for abused children and services for family members of abused children.
“This is going to allow us to add an additional outreach advocate,” said Laura Patzner, center executive director. This will allow the agency, which covers 10 counties, to expand its mission of getting referrals from outlying areas and to make sure services are being provided there.
The forensic interviewer portion of the funding will help pay for some to chat with children and family members in crisis. “This will give us the ability to really make a difference in the lives of those kids who have to be interviewed,” Patzner said.
“Providing the best public safety services and victim support requires a dedicated staff of local officials,” Schmidt said. “This grant will help advance local priorities for improving public safety.”
The grant is part of the Federal Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program and was awarded by the Kansas Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Schmidt serves as the chair of the council.
The Family Crisis Center Inc. is a private non-profit agency providing advocacy and services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence while encouraging social change through education. The agency began in 1981 when a group of concerned community members saw a need. Since the beginning, the Family Crisis Center has provided 24-hour services to meet the needs of survivors. Those in need of services can call the 24-hour crisis line at 620-792-9941.
It takes in Barber, Barton, Comanche, Edwards, Kiowa, Ness, Pawnee, Pratt, Rush, and Stafford counties.