HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a $418,404 grant to support sexual assault victims across Alabama.
The Alabama Coalition Against Rape, a nonprofit organization that assists victims of sexual violence and conducts outreach and education, is using the funds to continue its efforts to provide services to victims and prevent further assaults. They have 16 resource centers across the state.
The deputy director for ACAR, Kathleen Connolly, says the majority of the funds goes directly to the centers acrss the state for counseling, medical accompaniments, rape kits, art therapy, legal services and more.
“There’s also a component of outreach to marginalize populations and that has, in my opinion, been the most successful thing about this funding and I’m thrilled that there’s been an increase in it,” said Connolly. She says with the additional funding, the crisis centers are able to reach out and help populations that weren’t getting the help they needed.
The Coalition has provided legal, medical and counseling services to victims throughout Alabama since 1995. The organization is made up of more than a dozen agencies that provide regional services for victims.
The coalition also provides training for allied professionals and networks and maintains connections with other agencies to assist victims and address sexual violence issues.
“We must work to ensure that professional help is always available for anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault,” Gov. Ivey said. “I commend the Alabama Coalition Against Rape for their efforts to provide services for victims and for their outreach work in helping to prevent these horrible crimes.”
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice. ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim services, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreational development.
“ADECA joins Gov. Ivey in commending the coalition for the important work they continue to do to ensure sexual assault victims receive the care and support they need in a timely manner,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “The partnership ADECA has with the coalition provides victims with important access to needed services.”
Along with grants, the Coalition and its member agencies rely on private donations to ensure that these services remain available year-round.
ACAR has several resources online, as well as phone numbers to your local centers.
Read MoreWHNT.comAlabama News, News