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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Rape Crisis Centers Hurting From Budget Impasse

State of Illinois

R?ape crisis centers have had to scale back services because of the budget stalemate - which is headed toward its tenth month.

There are about thirty in the state - all part of the same coalition.

The Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault is one ... it serves 11 counties in central Illinois ... and helps over 500 people annually.

It provides counseling, and medical and legal advice for victims.

Shelley Vaughan heads it ... she says she's had to lay-off employees and stop doing rural outreach.

If no budget agreement is reached in the next few months, she says it could mean centers like hers have to close.

"They're suffering as well and the budget impasse -- it's almost dismantling a whole network of services that we can provide state-wide,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan says 35-percent of the operating budget for the Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault usually comes from the state. She's hoping fundraising dollars will be enough to keep the doors open for now.

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