MONTGOMERY— Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded $379,936 in grants to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in 14 north Alabama counties.
“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.”
Crisis Services of North Alabama is using funds of $60,236 for a program that ensures that victims of sexual assault and domestic violence receive forensic exams and follow-up care by specially trained nurses. The program also coordinates services to victims through sexual assault response teams and provides expert forensics testimony during prosecution of offenders. Program staff members also conduct training for law enforcement and response teams. The program serves victims in Jackson, Limestone, Madison and Morgan counties.
The Lawrence County Domestic Violence Unit is using a $65,000 grant to continue responding to calls for help from domestic violence victims in Lawrence County. The unit collects evidence to aid in prosecution and completes reports that assist victims in a timely manner.
The Marion County Commission is using $53,200 in grant funds for the 25th Judicial Circuit VAWA STOP Project. Its purpose is to decrease incidents of domestic violence and to encourage victims of domestic violence to report it to authorities. The project offers community education and awareness events and conducts training for law enforcement in Marion and Winston counties
The Marshall County Commission is using grant funds of $52,250 to support the Marshall County District Attorney’s Office’s Domestic Violence Unit. The unit provides prosecutors specifically for domestic violence cases, coordinates with victim services providers and offers referrals to other community resources as needed. The unit serves Marshall County.
One Place of the Shoals Family Justice Center is using grant funds of $61,750 to provide professional assistance to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and elder abuse in Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Marion and Winston counties. The organization offers counseling, court accompaniment, legal advocacy and assistance with filing protection from abuse orders.
The Pickens County Commission is using grant funds of $47,500 for the 24th Judicial Circuit Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Unit. It prosecutes abuse cases and assists victims in Fayette, Lamar and Pickens counties, conducts educational programs to increase public awareness of domestic violence and trains law enforcement on how to recognize the signs of domestic abuse.
AshaKiran Inc. is using funds of $40,000 to continue offering culturally specific services to help domestic violence and sexual assault victims in Jackson, Limestone and Madison counties. The organization will provide training and education to shelter programs, first responders and other professionals who work with victims. Additionally, AshaKiran provides emergency shelter and operates a 24-hour crisis line for victims.
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.
“Gov. Ivey believes strongly that victims should continue to receive the services and help they require for recovery,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA’s partnerships with these organizations play a critical role in making sure victims get help quickly and that the professionals who help them are properly trained to do so.”
ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim programs, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation.