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Phoenix Accepts $2M Grant To Aid Victims Of Trafficking, Domestic Violence

The Phoenix City Council voted to formally accept more than $2 million in federal grant money to aid survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. A portion of the funds will be used hire four full-time victim advocates at the city’s Family Advocacy Center.

The money also will allow the center to provide mobile outreach and open satellite facilities— a crucial need in order to connect with victims who may not otherwise come to the center.

Riann Balch, with the city’s human services department, said the center will be able to address a crisis situation immediately.   

"That moment of trauma is the moment when you really, really need services and guidance and support and just someone to be there for you," explained Balch. "So, having the availability; we’re almost opening the doors wide open. We’ll have so much more accessibility."

Balch’s agency estimates it’ll be able to serve an additional 900 victims with the new positions, which she hopes to fill by March 1. The grant also will allow the city prosecutor’s office to hire seven, full-time victim advocates.

The fire department’s Community Assistance Program will expand its services, as well. 

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.