NORTH ALABAMA (WHNT) — Governor Kay Ivey’s office announced Tuesday that over $379,000 in grants have been awarded to organizations that provide aid to domestic violence and sexual assault victims in 14 North Alabama counties.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is administering the grant, from funds that were made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault deserve access to professional assistance in a timely manner,” Gov. Ivey said. “I commend these agencies for always responding to victims that often have nowhere else to turn and for their efforts to train our first responders and court officials in how to handle these often-delicate cases in a compassionate manner.”
The following seven organizations are being awarded money in amounts ranging from $47,500 to $65,000.
Crisis Services of North Alabama, which serves victims in Jackson, Limestone, Madison and Morgan counties, is being awarded $60,236 for its program which ensures victims receive forensic exams and follow-up care by specially trained nurses. It also “coordinates services to victims through sexual assault response teams and provides expert forensics testimony during prosecution of offenders,” and conducts training for law enforcement and response teams.
The Lawrence County Domestic Violence Unit will use a $65,000 grant to continue its response to calls for help from domestic violence victims in Lawrence County, as well as collect evidence to aid prosecution and complete reports to assist victims in a timely manner.
Grant funds totaling $52,250 will be used by the Marshall County Commission to support the Marshall County District Attorneys Office’s Domestic Violence Unit. The unit provides prosecutors specifically for domestic violence cases, coordinates with victim services and offers referrals to “other community resources as needed.”
One Place of the Shoals Family Justice Center will use $61,750 in grant funds to provide professional assistance, like counseling, court accompaniment, legal advocacy and help filing protection orders, to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and elder abuse in Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Marion and Winston counties.
AshaKiran Inc. was granted $47,500 to continue its mission of offering “culturally specific” services to help victims in Jackson, Limestone and Madison counties. The organization provides training and education to shelter programs, first responders and other professionals who work with victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.
AshaKiran also operates a 24/7 crisis line, which can be reached by dialing (800) 793-301, and an emergency shelter.
The Marion County Commission was awarded $53,200 for the 25th Judicial Circuit VAWA STOP Project. The purpose of the project is to decrease domestic violence and encourage victims to report it to authorities through community awareness events and training for law enforcement in Marion and Winston counties.
The Pickens County Commission was given $47,500 in grant funds for the 24th Judicial Circuit Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Unit. It prosecutes abuse cases and assists victims in Fayette, Lamar and Pickens counties while also conducting educational programs to increase public awareness and training law enforcement.
For more information about the grants and organizations, you can visit the ADECA website.