St. Joseph County rape crisis center receives donation

A local rape crisis center, that's faced severe cuts in staffing, is receiving some help in spreading the word on how to prevent domestic violence.

The "SOS" program at St. Joseph County's Family Justice Center recently received a five thousand dollar donation from the Verizon Foundation.

The money will be used to help fund a part-time position that will re-instate the "RAP" program, which stands for "relationships are positive."

Someone will be hired to travel to high schools around the county and talk about teen dating violence.

Right now SOS only has a director and another part-time staff person to chat with elementary students about abusive behavior.

However recent statistics show that one out of four teenage couples will be in an abusive relationship.

“They are one of the most vulnerable populations – teens -- because they often don't have a lot of knowledge about what a healthy relationship looks like,” explains the Family Justice Center Director Sareen Dale.

The SOS program used to be based out of the Madison Center but moved to the Family Justice Center after budget cuts.

The organization is made up of about 70 volunteers. They can choose to either man a hotline 24 -7 or visit the emergency room if a victim needs someone to talk to after a sexual assault.

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