One area nonprofit will receive funding to create jobs and combat domestic violence in the deaf community.
IGNITE, formerly Advocacy Services for Abused Deaf Victims, has been awarded a $325,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice through the Underserved Program for training and services to combat violence in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
“This week will mark the 23rd anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act. I’m proud to be a co-author of this landmark law, which has empowered survivors to speak out and seek assistance from organizations like IGNITE,” Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Perinton, said in a statement. “This award from the Department of Justice will ensure that survivors in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community across Monroe County have the resources they need. This is especially important since Rochester is home to the nation’s largest deaf population.”
IGNITE provides services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. With the two-year grant, the organization will work with Planned Parenthood’s RESTORE program to provide free and confidential crisis counseling and 24-hour hotline services to sexual assault survivors and their loved ones.
The funding will help support four part-time IGNITE staff members, a new full-time RESTORE staff member and provide services to more than 120 deaf survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
“On behalf of the IGNITE and RESTORE teams, we are absolutely thrilled to receive this funding, which will allow for us to strengthen our collaborative work in supporting deaf survivors of sexual assault,” IGNITE Executive Director Erin Esposito said. “As always, we are deeply appreciative and grateful for Congresswoman Slaughter’s fierce commitment and support to end domestic and sexual violence.”
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