Sexual Assault Resource Center Suffers From State Budget Delay

FRESNO, Calif.

The consequences have already rippled through the Central Valley and is negatively affecting a battered women's group.

The Resource Center for Survivors of sexual assault has already laid of half of its staff.

If a budget agreement is not made by December the remaining employees at R.C.S. may not receive a paycheck if the center is to stay open.

Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the United States according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National network.

Fresno victim's advocacy group R.C.S. relies on state funds to provide counseling, therapy and educational services to clients.

"We see the need of the community, the victims," said associate Director Priscilla Meza.

Meza said more than 2/3 of their budget comes from state grant funds.

Without that money services are diverted.

"It's extremely frustrating to stay focused on that, to stay staffed at our full capacity to offer the services that we do around the clock," Meza said.

Meza had 21 employees working in three locations including Firebaugh and Coalinga but the staff has been reduced to only ten.

There's enough grant money to carry those employees through December but afterwards workers will be volunteering their time if they want to stay on.

"It will have to be with a lot of staff donating their time. Exempt staff, administrative staff who have already committed to doing that," said Meza.

Meza and her boss are holding an emergency board meeting Monday evening at their Fresno office to explain their financial situation.

Employees that were laid off are invited to attend and express their concerns.

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