The lawyer for the victim in the horrific Steubenville rape case chose to do the work pro-bono — without pay — but that hasn’t stopped concerned citizens from wanting to donate money in the victim’s honor. And so the girl, via her lawyer, Bob Fitzsimmons, has asked that anyone who wants to donate funds direct their donations to the Madden House, a victims’ services organization near Steubenville, in Wheeling, WV.
The results, says Patricia Flanigan, Program Director for Family Violence Prevention Programs there, have been staggering.
“It’s very touching. And it’s all over the world,” she told ThinkProgress. “It’s not just from the United States. We’re having correspondence all over the world — Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany. I can just go on and on. Ireland. Some are coming in as donations and some are just offering support and saying keep up the good work.”
The Madden House is a part of the Family Violence Prevention Programs which operate within the local YWCA in Wheeling. Overall, the program offers services to address an array of victimization: Domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking chief among them.
The donations will fund a wide array of services: Round-the-clock staff at Madden House, a 24-hotline, supportive services including court advocacy to help victims file protection orders or go through other legal processes, teen violence prevention programs in schools, transitional housing to women and children for up to 24 months rent and utility free, and employment advocates to help women find jobs.
Though Flanigan would not say how much the organization has raised so far, she did speak emotionally about the overwhelming support. “It’s a wonderful thing,” she said, “that unfortunately has come from a tragic event.”