Alabama Governor Ivey awards grants to help abuse victims in east Alabama

MONTGOMERY, AL (STL.News) – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has awarded grants totaling $503,300 to help two nonprofit organizations in east Alabama to continue providing services to victims of child abuse and sexual assault.

The grants will fund a variety of services to assist victims in Chambers, Lee, Macon and Tallapoosa counties.

“Children or adults who have been abused or sexually assaulted deserve access to professional assistance that helps them begin the healing process in safe places,” Ivey said.  “I commend the work of the staff members and volunteers of these organizations who work diligently to help every victim.”

A $273,600 grant will enable Twin Cedars Child Advocacy Center in Opelika to continue providing a location where children feel safe and are encouraged to tell their story to specially trained forensic interviewers.  The center also provides medical exams, therapy, family advocacy, court accompaniment and support groups for parents.  Matching funds of $68,400 will supplement the grant.

A $229,700 grant to the Rape Counselors of East Alabama will help the organization continue providing services to victims of sexual assault and their families in Chambers, Lee, Macon and Tallapoosa counties.  The staff and volunteers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions, provide referrals and accompany victims to the hospital.  The organization also assists during the criminal justice process by filing protection orders and accompanying victims to court.  Matching funds of $31,469 will supplement the grant.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Justice Department.

“ADECA shares Gov. Ivey’s dedication to helping those organizations that provide services to victims of sexual violence and child abuse,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.  “These partnerships help to ensure that victims continue having access to assistance in the aftermath of horrific and traumatizing events.”

ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.

Ivey notified Beth Vaughn, Twin Cedars Child Advocacy Center board president, and Steve Martin, Rape Counselors of East Alabama board president, that the grants had been approved.