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Grants to assist crime victims

Contributed

Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded three grants totaling $279,000 to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking in south central Alabama.

The grants - $140,000 to the Elmore County Commission, $90,000 to the Montgomery County Commission and $49,000 to the Family Sunshine Center – will help victims in Autauga, Butler, Chilton, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes and Montgomery counties.

“By ensuring that victims of these terrible crimes receive professional support and that abusers get prosecuted for their crimes, these groups work together to help end the cycle of abuse,” Bentley said. “I commend the steps being taken by these organizations to help victims obtain justice and recover from abuse.”

The grant to Elmore County will help continue the efforts of the 19th Judicial Circuit Domestic Violence Unit, a partnership of the County Commission, Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office. The unit specializes in domestic violence cases, helping victims and prosecuting offenders.

Montgomery County will use the grant funding to continue the county’s Violence Against Women Prosecution Unit that provides prosecution and victim advocacy in cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking.

The grant to Family Sunshine Center will help the organization continue providing services that include a 24-hour crisis hotline, safe shelter, counseling, advocacy and related assistance to help victims get to safety and start the recovery process.

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

“ADECA partners with nonprofit organizations and other government agencies throughout the state to ensure survivors of these horrible crimes receive the help they need,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “These grants will help ensure that these task forces and organizations will continue their important missions to assist victims.”

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

Bentley notified Elmore County Commission Chairman David Bowen, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean and Lucy Jackson, board president for the Family Sunshine Center, that the grants had been approved.

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