Grants will aid Abuse Victims

Gov. Bob Riley awarded grants totaling $248,423 to support four nonprofit groups dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence and child abuse in southeast Alabama.

The Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center in Dothan is receiving two grants totaling $166,007 to assist child abuse victims and family members not involved in the abuse in Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike counties. The center provides counseling services, a child-friendly atmosphere for conducting investigative interviews, therapy programs and an advocacy program to help victims through the legal system.

A $27,000 grant will help the Wise Center for Child Abuse Prevention continue serving families in Barbour, Bullock, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike counties. Since 1978, the Dothan-based center has provided individual, family and group counseling, youth enrichment activities, violence prevention and anger management classes.

With two grants totaling $52,450, the Crisis Center of Russell County will continue providing safe shelter and other aid to domestic violence victims in the county. The center operates a 24-hour hotline and offers victims food and clothing, transportation, crisis counseling and information on employment, housing and financial assistance.

The House of Ruth is receiving a $9,166 grant to provide legal advocacy for domestic violence victims in Barbour, Bullock, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike counties. Advocates at the Dothan organization accompany victims to court and, if requested, help obtain court orders to protect victims from abusers.

Riley awarded the grants from funds made available to the state by the U.S. departments of Justice and Health and Human Services. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the awards.

Riley notified Scott Applefield of the Southeast Child Advocacy Center, Tony Ellison of the Wise Center, Valerie McLain of the Crisis Center and Paula Coleman of The House of Ruth that the grants had been approved.

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