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Local rape victims advocacy program continues comeback from financial woes

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

An organization that reaches out to help Tri-County rape victims continues its big comeback after a financial mess from two years ago.

People Against Rape, a sexual assault advocacy program that offers support and services for survivors of sexual assault in Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley Counties, is hiring new employees.

"It started pretty shaky, but we've come a long way," said People Against Rape Executive Director Stacey Tunstill.

"We were extremely fortunate to have so many people who believed in us and wouldn't let us die," said PAR board member Von Bakanic.

Officials with the nonprofit call it a huge boost compared with the discovery that money was missing from its account, the loss of its grant funding and the subsequent layoff of every employee in the fall of 2012.

In September, 2012, the board of PAR told the media up to $80,000 was missing from the organization's budget. They said the missing money might have had something to do with mishandling of funds by a former employee.

Grant money from the Department of Public Safety was suspended as the Internal Revenue Service and the State Law Enforcement Division stepped in to investigate.

That investigation is still ongoing.

In April of this year, PAR celebrated its 40th anniversary in the Lowcountry.

For information about  job openings and how to volunteer go to www.peopleagainstrape.org

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