Groups who help crime victims in South Carolina are getting more than $46 million in grant money.
The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office hosted a news conference Monday with representatives from many of those groups. The grants are distributed by the office’s South Carolina Crime Victim Services Division.
“These state and local agencies and non-profit groups do so much to help the people who are going through traumatic circumstances,” Attorney General Alan Wilson said. “With these funds, we are able to support agencies throughout the state as they assist victims of violent crime in their recovery.”
More than 95 percent of the Victims of Crime Trust Fund money comes from fines, fees and court assessments paid from federal cases. The rest mostly comes from a portion of the salaries of inmates who work jobs in minimum-security facilities.
“We are here to help victims become survivors,” Wilson said. “And the survivors go on and do wonderful things in our society.”
One of those survivors is Springdale Police Chief Kevin Cornett, who said he overcame childhood abuse to serve in the military and eventually law enforcement at the small town west of Columbia.
“This money is going to be put to use to help kids with services that were not available when I needed help,” he said. “This is a tremendous thing.”
South Carolina Victim Assistance Network CEO Laura Hudson said the money will be put to good use on existing programs and fulfilling the needs of victims that might not be so obvious to someone who’s never been in that situation.
“All sorts of things you don’t think about that people go through,” she said. “When a crime has happened, they don’t want to be in that house.”
The SCVAN received more than $1.8 million in grants. They hope to train enough certified forensic nurses to have one in every hospital statewide.
“The monies that come to the crime victim services come from varmints at the federal level and at the state level,” she said. “That it’s not their hard-earned taxpaying money and crime victims like that, that is actually coming from the people that are doing the bad deeds. So I think it’s important for people to know that.”