Governor awards $1.8 million to help victims in 10 counties, including Lowndes

Published 2:07 pm Friday, November 10, 2017

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Special to the Signal

Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded four grants totaling more than $1.8 million to help victims of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault in 10 central Alabama counties, including Lowndes.

Three grants were awarded to child advocacy centers – $257,840 to Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center in Clanton, $144,000 to Child Protect in Montgomery and $76,000 to Butler County Children’s Advocacy Center, also known as ‘Safe Harbor,’ in Greenville. The fourth grant of $1.3 million will go to the Family Sunshine Center in Montgomery for assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Email newsletter signup

“While we wish that these types of crimes didn’t happen in the first place, there are organizations ready to help when they unfortunately do occur,” Ivey said. “I commend the staff of each of these agencies for the professional care they provide to victims of these horrible abuses, and I am pleased to provide this funding to ensure victims receive the important care offered by these organizations.”

Child advocacy centers provide child-friendly environments for children to tell their stories of abuse. The interviews are conducted by specially trained interviewers and recorded, alleviating the need for a child to recall the events of the abuse multiple times at various agencies. They also provide counseling, advocacy and support services to the child victims and parents and caregivers determined not to have been involved in the abuse.

Butterfly Bridge serves Autauga, Chilton and Elmore counties and Child Protect serves Montgomery County. Safe Harbor serves Butler, Crenshaw and Lowndes counties.

The grant to the Family Sunshine Center will help the organization continue providing emergency shelter, counseling, advocacy and support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Autauga, Butler, Chilton, Crenshaw, Dallas, Elmore, Lowndes, Montgomery, Perry and Wilcox counties.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice. ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation.

“ADECA stands with Gov. Ivey in supporting the important work these organizations do to assist victims each and every day,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.  “When terrible crimes like these happen, there is help available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Along with grants, these organizations rely on local, private donations to ensure that these free services remain available year-round.