Governor awards more than $1 million to assist victims in east Alabama

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a little more than $1 million to assist six east Alabama non-profit agencies that provide services to victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

The grants will support programs offered by the Columbus Alliance for Battered Women, Rape Counselors of East Alabama, the Domestic Violence Intervention Center, Russell County Child Advocacy Center, Tri-County Children’s Advocacy Center and Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services. Together the agencies provide services in six Alabama counties.

“Victims of domestic violence and child abuse deserve to have somewhere and someone to turn to and trust in their time of need,” Gov. Ivey said. “These agencies are staffed with understanding and compassionate people that help victims through their terrible ordeals.”

Gov. Ivey awarded the following grants:

Columbus Alliance for Battered Women, Inc. ($91,000) – Located in Columbus, Ga., the Hope Harbour Community Outreach Program provides crisis intervention, legal advocacy and comprehensive support services for domestic violence victims in Russell County, Ala. The program also provides education and awareness about domestic violence to the community and information on the support services available for victims and their families. Matching funds of $22,750 will supplement the grant.

Domestic Violence Intervention Center ($236,000) – The Opelika-based agency provides services to victims in Chambers, Lee, Macon, Randolph and Tallapoosa counties. Those services include emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis telephone line, support groups, court advocacy and referrals to other assisting agencies. Matching funds of $59,000 will supplement the grant.

Rape Counselors of East Alabama ($137,000) – The Auburn-based agency provides services to victims of sexual abuse and their families in Chambers, Lee, Macon, Russell and Tallapoosa counties. Services include hospital accompaniment and legal assistance. Staff and volunteers are also available to answer questions. Local matching funds of $34,250 will supplement the grant.

Russell County Child Advocacy Center Inc. ($69,000) – Based in Phenix City, the center provides counseling, advocacy, forensic interviews and other services to child victims of physical and sexual assault as well as family members not involved in the abuse. The center offers a child-friendly environment and works with other agencies involved in the investigation to allow the child to recount the details once, rather than having to relive the trauma multiple times to various agencies. Matching funds of $17,250 will supplement the grant.

Tri-County Children’s Advocacy Center ($155,000) – The Dadeville-based center will use grant funds to continue services including forensic interviews, counseling and medical exams for child victims of sexual and physical abuse in Chambers, Randolph and Tallapoosa counties. Matching funds of $38,750 will supplement the grant.

Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services ($340,000) – Based in Opelika, the organization provides a location where children feel safe and are encouraged to tell their story to specially trained forensic interviewers. The center also offers medical exams, therapy, family advocacy, court accompaniment and support groups for parents in Lee and Macon counties. Funds are also being used for Keeping Family Connections, a supervised visitation program that provides supportive visitation to children in Lee County and non-custodial parents. Matching funds of $85,000 will supplement the grant.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available to the state from the U.S. Department of Justice. Each agency also relies heavily on local, private donations to ensure that free services remain available year-round. 

“Gov. Ivey and ADECA are committed to working with these agencies to help victims overcome abusive situations,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “These grants will help ensure that a range of services remains available for victims.”

ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim programs, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation.

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Contact: Russell Sellers, Mike Presley

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