Victim Advocates Reaching Out (VARO) JOINS OVER 40 COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS SERVING SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS IN $13.2 MILLION AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN INITIATIVE. VARO will be joining over 40 organizations, both nationally and locally, in an effort to provide culturally-specific, community-based support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault from Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities across the U.S. and Pacific. The $13.2 million dollar initiative from the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) under the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) will be will be the first time API-GBV will be distributing two years of funding to culturally specific organizations that serve sexual assault (SA) and domestic violence (DV) survivors in AAPI communities. “It is our mission to respond to all victims of violent crime and trauma, and to elevate the stature of women and children on our island, those most often victimized by physical and sexual abuse. It is our hope that through our services of intervention, education and awareness we will lessen the need for crisis intervention for future generations.” “API-GBV is honoured and proud to welcome organizations like VARO who are at the forefront of sexual assault and domestic violence work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential to have this kind of funding distributed to communities with organizations deeply rooted in their environmental and cultural awareness and expertise in supporting survivors,” said Monica Khant, Executive Director of API-GBV. The organization was selected by a committee of peer reviewers with extensive experience in the domestic violence and sexual assault fields, and working in AANHPI and ME communities in the U.S. Funding provided under the ARP Support for Survivors grant to VARO will advance the program’s focus on health and wellness and is particularly noteworthy, as it recognizes that healing and recovery from trauma require a more holistic approach that addresses both physical and emotional well-being. For more information about VARO, visit https://www.varoguam.org/. If you need VARO’s assistance please call their hotline at 671-477-5552.