Government

Mahoning Domestic Relations Court Receives $60K Grant

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Mahoning County Domestic Relations Court has received a $60,000 grant that will help survivors of domestic violence.

The money is part of the Violence Against Women Act grant funding for calendar year 2017 and is administered through the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Service, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

“These funds will enable the court to have a full-time licensed social worker who will function as a coordinator for the benefit of survivors of domestic violence,” said Judge Beth A. Smith. “The coordinator position created by the court in 2016 will continue to connect survivors in Mahoning County with community resources to aid them in the process of ending the cycle of violence.”

The OCJS is the lead justice planning and assistance office for the State of Ohio. It administers state and federal dollars for criminal justice funding every year. The OCJS has been designated by Gov. John R. Kasich to administer the fiscal year 2016 Stop Violence Against Women Act Grant Program.

Continued funding for this project is vital for the citizens of Mahoning County who are exposed to the devastating impact of domestic violence, Smith said.

Mahoning County ranks near the top of all 88 counties in the number of domestic violence civil protection orders filed every year. Mahoning County Domestic Relations Court hears about 800 petitions for civil protection orders annually, she noted. To date, more than 500 children are named as protected parties in civil protection orders.

Partners with the grant are the Sojourner House, Community Legal Aid, Help Hotline Crisis Center, Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene, and Mahoning County Children Services. Smith commended Anna DeAscentis, special projects employee, with the Mahoning County Commissioners, for her assistance in the submission of the grant.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.