Bizzarro: $13,598 to Erie Child Advocacy Center

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, has announced that the Erie Child Advocacy Center will receive a $13,598 grant to ensure that victims of child sexual abuse are getting the services they need.

Bizzarro, a former victim witness coordinator and advocate for the Erie County District Attorney’s office, said he has always supported child advocacy centers in the state, especially by voting for Act 28 of 2014 to expand access to child advocacy centers and increase their availability to serve child victims of sexual and physical abuse.

“Having worked in the profession in the past, this topic is near and dear to my heart,” Bizzarro said. “We must help the children and adults who have suffered in the hands of abusers who now need further assistance and in Erie we will have that additional help.”

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) has approved more than $1.3 million in grant funding from the Endowment Act Fund. Grants were approved for 36 different organizations throughout the state that assist victims of child sexual abuse, including Erie.

Over $700,000 will be distributed to 15 service organizations that provide direct services to child abuse victims. Nearly $1 million will be distributed to 21 Child Advocacy Centers to enhance services, including increasing the number of medical examinations and counseling services and to develop satellites in underserved areas.

Bizzarro said The Endowment Act directs the PCCD to use the monetary penalty imposed on the Pennsylvania State University by the National Collegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA) to aid the victims of child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania. Per the settlement, $48 million was deposited into an endowment established as a separate trust fund in the State Treasury for the benefit of Pennsylvania residents and for the specific purpose of assisting child sexual abuse victims and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.