An area sexual assault and victim advocacy organization recently received grants to expand and continue their work. The Southeast Missouri Network against Sexual Violence (SEMO-NASV) was awarded a grant worth $20,000 from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks for a coronavirus relief project. Officials say a week ago, the organization also received a grant worth $750,000 from the Federal Office on Violence against Women for a three year project to be able to expand and keep their services in the rural part of the region. SEMO-NASV supplies direct services and support for those who are victims of sexual assault, and provides evidence-based child abuse prevention education in eight counties in the rural part of Southeast Missouri. The $20,000 grant from the community foundation is to be utilized for a specific coronavirus relief project and a part of the money will be utilized on special personal protective equipment for forensic interviews, officials say. Officials say they use clear face masks during forensic interviews and this gives both the interviewer and the victims the opportunity to see the mouth and facial expressions of the other person while the interview is taking place, but they’re also protected. Officials say the rest of the money will be utilized to make the organization’s prevention program virtual. SEMO-NASV will work alongside Creative Edge in Cape Girardeau to record each session before they disseminate them into schools. The grant that is worth $750,000 is a rural grant through the Department of Justice Office on Violence against Women and is a sequel of previous funding that was awarded three years ago and this grant is mainly for staffing, so, SEMO-NASV can continue to expand their programming in the region, officials say. This grant funding will allow SEMO-NASV to have a physician assistant that provides medical exams for victims, a therapist who provides trauma-based counseling for sexual violence survivors, and add positions for prevention programs like Green Bear, which is a program designed for students in pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade that provides instruction for primary child abuse prevention and its victim advocacy program. In addition, this grant also allows SEMO-NASV to work closely with Southeast Hospital as well as the Campus Violence Prevention Program at Southeast Missouri State University, officials say.