Continuing to assist survivors of crime and supporting local organizations in the state, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) recognizes April 23rd through 29th as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. This year’s NCVRW theme is Survivor Voices: Elevate. Engage. Effect Change, which amplifies the voices of survivors and creates environments where survivors have the confidence that they will be heard, believed and supported.
Providing over $400 million in funding, Cal OES is supporting community groups and allied partners hosting awareness events in 12 different counties this week, including ceremonies in Orange and San Francisco Counties, memorial services in San Bernardino County, vigils in Yuba County and many more.
Since 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week has been celebrated every year throughout April to create environments where survivors have the confidence they will be heard, believed and supported.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which is a time to draw attention to the prevalence of sexual assault and educate individuals and communities on how to prevent it.
In addition, Denim Day is recognized on April 26, which started after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the justices felt that the survivor was wearing tight jeans, so she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim.
Since then, what started as a local campaign to bring awareness to survivor blaming and destructive myths that surround sexual violence has grown into a movement. As the longest running sexual violence prevention and education campaign in history, Denim Day asks community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion statement by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence.
Cal OES’ Grants Management Office
Through the Victim Services Branch of the Grants Management Office, Cal OES provides trauma-informed, survivor-centered services, as well as funding over 400 unique local governments and non-profit organizations to ensure Californians receive timely and effective support services.
In fiscal year 2021-22, Cal OES provided over $449 million in funding through approximately 1,200 grants administered to victim services providers.
The largest grant program, the Victim Assistance Formula Grant Program, served more than 750,000 individual Californians in 2022, with 321,000 receiving services for the first time.
Cal OES helps provide and fund numerous survivor services programs such as survivor witness support, rape crisis centers, human trafficking survivor assistance, shelters, therapy services, and more totaling over 80 programs statewide.
Many of the programs are provided by and for marginalized communities, to better serve vulnerable populations.
Cal OES is committed to providing financial and technical assistance, and support to victim service providers to ensure all victims and survivors in California receive the services they need.