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State Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, has joined officials from Crisis Services in Erie County in urging the state Office of Victim Services not to cut funding for programs that help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

OVS assistance that Crisis Services has received for more than 20 years may be slashed by more than $300,000, agency officials learned recently, cutting off help for more than 8,000 people. Kennedy has set up a petition to restore the cuts at his website, http://kennedy.nysenate.gov.

Officials said the reduction in funding will force Crisis Services to eliminate all of the domestic violence response efforts in its Advocate Program and remove all of its domestic violence case managers and advocates in the Buffalo Police Department and Buffalo City Court.

“This funding decision made within the bureaucracy of the Office of Victim Services is both misguided and unacceptable,” Kennedy said. “Without this critical funding, thousands of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault will be left without the services and support they need during their recovery and as they pursue justice.”