Callaway County grants more than $10,000 to domestic violence shelters

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FULTON - The Callaway County Commission granted more than $10,000 to Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence in Callaway County and Rape and Abuse Crisis Service in Cole County.

This is the first year Callaway County granted funds to two domestic violence shelters since the 1980s. The funds are raised through court fees from cases involving domestic violence.

This year, the funds will be given to the shelters once. However, in the future, the funding will be provided twice a year.

Organizations like the coalition rely heavily on the support of the annual county funds.

"The importance of these funds simply cannot be understated for [Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence]," said Tyler Rieke, the coalition's executive director.

She said court fees are the only regular source of discretionary funding and the foundation on which all other funding is built.

"Most of our court fees go toward writing grants, making it possible to bring federal and state funding to our community in order to serve victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence," Reike said.

Since the coalition deals with most cases from Callaway County, that organization received most of the money this year. The Callaway County Commission granted it $9,170, while the Rape and Crisis Abuse Service received $1,018. 

Presiding Callaway County Commissioner Gary Jungermann said he is planning a board vote on how the money would be dispersed in the future. 

"[The board's] job would be to take those applications and look at them and then make a recommendation to the county commission," Jungermann said.

"At the end of the day, the county commission has to award the money."