The County of Santa Clara


Under advisement from June 18, 2019 (Item No. 15): Receive report relating to options for consideration regarding adequate and immediate funding of the provision of services to sexual assault victims. (Office of the County Executive)


Department:Office of the County ExecutiveSponsors:


  1. Printout
  2. Public Comment



There is no fiscal implication associated with acceptance of this report.


At the June 18, 2019 (Item No. 15) Board of Supervisors meeting, a referral was approved to Administration to report to the Board on August 13, 2019 with options for consideration relating to adequate and immediate funding for work relating to the provision of services to sexual assault victims by the only two rape crisis centers in the county.

This report will include options for funding the Santa Clara County’s only two rape crisis centers authorized by the State to offer rape crisis program services.


The recommended action will have a positive impact on children and youth through the Every Child Safe indicator by providing crisis response and advocacy services for adults, and trauma-informed services for their children, the trauma of exposure to violence in the home may be reduced and may prevent the short and long-term negative health effects that these children experience.


The recommended action will have a positive impact on seniors. Confidential advocacy services and sexual assault resources will likely benefit seniors who report being victims of sexual assault by helping them heal from trauma.


The recommended action will have no/neutral sustainability implications.


The State of California mandates both the standards for certification of rape crisis centers to provide rape crisis services as well the legal rights of sexual assault victims to receive these services. The intent is to ensure a trauma-informed, multidisciplinary approach in the aftermath of a horrific crime. Unfortunately, the State of California leaves this critical mandate for services underfunded. 

In Santa Clara County, there are only two agencies which meet the State mandates to provide rape crisis center services: Community Solutions and the YWCA-Silicon Valley. YWCA-SV delivers the bulk of all services in central and north County while Community Solutions focuses on survivors in south County. Together they provide 24-hour crisis response and advocacy services including accompaniment during medical exams, law enforcement interviews, and court dates, as well as counseling and other support. These services must be offered to victims whether or not they choose to pursue a medical exam. According to the most current data available, from October 2017 through September 2018, the YWCA-SV served 659 survivors, and between September 2017 and August 2018 Community Solutions served 145. During these same timeframes, the YWCA-SV supported 343 survivors in medical exams, and Community Solutions attended to 13 survivors. 

As the County has increased its investment in response to the need for stronger infrastructure and nursing expertise to address sexual assaults, the rape crisis centers have continually expressed concern that such expansion of medical services will create a demand that is impossible for them to meet. The two rape crisis centers are barely meeting the current need. The County currently provides sexual assault forensic exams at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC). A significant expansion of services is coming in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20 with options for these exams opening in a south county center in the fall and at a north county center by February 2020. Without new streams of financial support, the community-based piece of this delicate work will collapse, and the mandate for survivors to have access to rape crisis center advocates will not be possible.  

Rape crisis centers seek funding through foundations and grants.  Most of the funding for rape crisis center services is from State and federal funding based on old formulas that do not address the need or actual numbers served. Currently, the County does not fund the State mandate for rape crisis centers except for services by the YWCA-SV from the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections for adult Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA); this funding ended in June 2019.

In California, federal funding has been passed through the State to counties with grants from the Office for Victims of Crimes and the Victims of Crimes Act (VOCA). The California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) administers the funding. This funding is available to law enforcement, rape crisis centers, courts, the California Clinical Forensic Medical Training Center (CCFMTC), and some discretionary funds. Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) Teams generally are not eligible to receive these funds to cover expenses as they relate to sexual assault costs.


Community Solutions Funding Sources for Sexual Assault

All Funding - SCC

Funding Term

Total Grant Amount


State Funds

VOCA Funds

Cal OES Rape Crisis Center Grant South SCC

Oct 2018 – Sept 2019





Cal OES Rape Crisis Center Grant South SCC

Oct 2017 – Sept 2018






YWCA-Silicon Valley Funding Sources for Sexual Assault

Cal OES Rape Crisis Program Funding

Funding Term

Total Grant Amount


State Funds

VOCA Funds

Cal OES Rape Crisis Center Grant Central SCC

Oct 2018 –Sept 2019





Cal OES Rape Crisis Center Grant North SCC

Oct 2018 –Sept 2019





Cal OES Rape Crisis Center Grant Central SCC

Oct 2017 – Sept 2018





Cal OES Rape Crisis Center Grant North SCC

Oct 2017 – Sept 2018






June 2016 – Dec 2019





Adult PREA Santa Clara County, DOC

July 2018 – June 2019






The current level of funding for rape crisis center providers does not meet the current need.  Moreover, the expansion of County services, while very much needed to support victims, cannot be achieved by rape crisis center service providers unless funding is identified to support the expansion of services. 

The required State training is only offered twice a year and does not meet our County need. The current expansion of services for the County will include infrastructure to SCVMC to provide in-house training to nurses required to be part of the sexual assault forensic exam team. Additional staff includes 3.8 FTE positions; however, 0.4 FTE is to be funded by Santa Cruz County for their sexual assault program needs. The current sexual assault forensic exam team for Santa Clara County includes 11 forensic examiners who are independent contractors. The plan is to increase the pool to 30 forensic examiners by the end of the fiscal year. This size pool of qualified examiners will address issues of attrition and better ensure the needs of victims are met promptly while increasing the response locations. It is important to note that these examiners are not in FTE positions as they are independent contractors who work on a fixed on-call schedule. Additionally, examiners must complete State and County mandated training on their own before being eligible to join the SCVMC SAFE Program.

The Office of the County Executive’s Division of Equity and Social Justice (DESJ) is preparing a one-time funded contract for $600,000 to support the immediate gap in services for rape crisis centers. Funding will provide rape crisis centers the time to increase capacity to meet the current needs and prepare for the expansion of services. Expected to begin mid-September, this will allow for immediate coordination of training, recruitment of advocates, and development of an infrastructure to meet the expansion of services. There is approximately a 6-month timeline to recruit and train rape crisis advocates, and if services begin in south and North County as planned, advocates will not be available. 

An on-going gap of approximately $2,250,000 has been identified by the rape crisis centers to meet the current and anticipated local need based on the approved County expansion of services. It is worth noting that the State of California’s total general fund budget for all counties throughout the State in FY 2018-2019 was only $5,045,002. 

At the June 18, 2019 (Item No. 15) Board meeting, the Board directed Administration to prepare an implementation plan for $5,000,000  in funding to address sexual assault. This work is currently underway, and presentation of the plan is anticipated for the September 24, 2019 Board meeting. The County Executive directed the newly established Gender-Based Violence Program, overseen by the Division of Equity and Social Justice , to lead this effort. As such, the DESJ is convening local leaders in the field to inform the necessary outcomes of such a significant investment, including the process by which funding will be administered. This funding comes on the heels of a substantial investment in services to address intimate partner violence, which has allowed for the financing of thoughtful and strategic work to address direct services, housing, youth education and prevention, community based prevention, research and policy development, assessing and improving batterer intervention programs, and other innovative initiatives. A separate strategic plan to address sexual assault will be implemented upon Board approval, and the provision of direct services will be prioritized. 

The DESJ Gender-Based Violence Program is working in partnership with the Social Services Agency and the Office of the County Executive’s contracts management teams, for the competitive procurement of services to address the spectrum of violence and abuse. 

This process is estimated to be carried out across multiple years as existing contracts expire and various other contract timelines align. While the services of rape crisis centers are a State mandate, the work required to best meet the needs of survivors is local. As the County invests in improving services for victims, the County must continue to advocate for the State to meet its obligations. Until then, the County should bridge the funding gap.


The Administration will not be able meet its directive to provide the Board of Supervisors with the requested information by August 13, 2019.


Upon approval by the Board of Supervisors, the Clerk of the Board will notify Carla Collins at

Meeting History

Aug 13, 2019 9:30 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Three individuals addressed the Board.

Vice Chairperson Chavez requested that Administration provide additional information clarifying the timeline to fully staff the three Sexual Assault Forensic Exam locations in North County, South County, and Valley Medical Center; and, ensure that Administration fully funds the initial and ongoing staffing requirements of the two rape crisis centers to provide services to victims of sexual assault Countywide.

Vice Chairperson Chavez further requested that Administration circulate the follow-up report to all nonprofit organization stakeholders upon completion.

MOVER:Cindy Chavez, Vice President
SECONDER:Mike Wasserman, Supervisor
AYES:Mike Wasserman, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Susan Ellenberg, S. Joseph Simitian