The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to increase funding for services for victims of sexual assault and create a new office to address gender-based violence in the county.
The board voted to create the Santa Clara County Office of Gender-Based Violence to oversee services for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking. County leaders plan to fill the positions in the new office with many current county workers.
County executive Jeffrey Smith assured the board that "we're using the bureaucracy that we already have."
David Campos, deputy county executive, told the board that most positions in the new office have already been filled by county workers who were addressing gender-based violence through the Santa Clara County Office of Women's Policy.
The newly created office will oversee two rape crisis centers, which received an additional $1.7 million to fully fund them. Supervisors previously allocated $600,000, bringing the total disbursement to $2.3 million.
Also on Tuesday, county officials reported a drop in domestic violence deaths between 2017 and 2018.
Last year seven people died as a result of domestic violence, compared with 13 in 2017. In 2016, only seven people died due to domestic violence, but the historic trend has been downward, according to county officials.
No domestic violence deaths have occurred in the county this year.