Opportunities for Otsego’s Violence Intervention Program will expand services to victims of interpersonal violence through funds awarded by the state Office of Victim Services, according to an OFO media release.

The annual $540,956 grant continues to fund victim services, including the 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, counseling and personal and legal advocacy and accompaniment. It will also help to establish a 24-hour accessible victim advocacy center in the city of Oneonta “to address increasing incidents of interpersonal violence within the jurisdiction”, the release said. The center will provide “a comfortable, emotionally safe space for Violence Intervention Program advocates and law enforcement to meet with, interview and support adult victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.”

Will Rivera, crisis intervention services director, said, “We are extremely thankful to the Office of Victim Services for this funding as it is critical to furthering the efforts our dedicated team in supporting all victims of crime, their families, and loved ones. The addition of a soft interview room builds upon our trauma-informed care practices, and will prove invaluable to the investigative process and offender accountability.”

Dan Maskin, chief executive officer, said, “Increased funding in this grant enhances community partnerships which is a key component to the prevention of domestic violence in Otsego County. We are grateful to the state (of) New York for its foresight on these important issues.”

VIP provides services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes. It is available 24 hours, seven day a week through its crisis hotline at 607-432-4855.

For more information on VIP and other Opportunities for Otsego services, visit www.ofoinc.org or call 607-433-8000.

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