There are concerns about the future of rape prevention and victim support programs in New Jersey. Sequestration in Washington, D.C. could jeopardize the programs according to New Jersey Senator Jennifer Beck. She voiced her concerns during recent Senate Budget Committee hearings with the state Department of Children and Families (DCF).

“Both departments do an excellent job administering programs to educate people on how to prevent and address rapes,” said Beck. “They also provide essential services, including a hotline, for rape victims. But because officials in Washington aren’t doing the right thing, these two initiatives serving all 21 New Jersey counties face significant funding cuts due to the federal sequester.”

A rape prevention and education program via the DCF could lose as much as 20 percent in federal funding, and with a funding formula change could experience a decrease of as much as 77 percent next year. A rape intervention program via the New Jersey Attorney General’s office could lose as much as 9 percent.

“It is devastating when our government loses sight of its primary function — to protect and serve the most vulnerable people,” explained Beck. “I will continue to raise awareness about this issue and do whatever it takes working with the Gov. Christie administration to make sure these essential initiatives can keep delivering for New Jerseyans.”