Agencies that provide services to rape victims are trying to cope with a major loss in state funding, according to John Keckhaver of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. He says less money is coming in from a surcharge on offenders. “That’s the program that we’re talking about here. It has been cut about 30 percent here in 2012 from its 2011 levels.”
Keckhaver says it’s a “pretty dramatic” loss that is having a real impact … with the victim demands growing. “There are now 46 sexual assault service providers around the state … there’s an average 60 percent increase in the number of people coming to these local agencies for services.”
The reason the surcharge revenue has declined isn’t known, but state auditors are looking into it.
John Colbert, WIBA