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Grants help abuse victims

Six nonprofit groups assisting child abuse and domestic violence victims in central Alabama are receiving support from grants totaling $168,039, including $84,554 in economic stimulus funds.

With a $9,586 stimulus grant, Crisis Center, Inc. will purchase new equipment needed by the center’s sexual assault nurse examiners who aid victims in Chilton, Blount, Jefferson, St. Clair and Walker counties. The specially trained examiners conduct exams at a private facility to collect crime evidence.

Gov. Bob Riley awarded the grants to help the nonprofit agencies overcome recent funding reductions and continue uninterrupted services to victims in nine counties during the current economic downturn.

“The services provided by these organizations are an important part of the recovery process for abuse victims,” Riley said. “These organizations depend heavily upon individual contributions so I urge area residents to be generous in their support.”

Other grants awarded were as follows:

Riley awarded $130,417, including $16,932 in economic stimulus funds, to SafeHouse of Shelby County to maintain staff and continue its family violence prevention efforts in Clay, Coosa and Shelby Counties

The Bessemer Cut-off Advocacy Center is receiving an $18,987 economic stimulus grant to continue offering counseling, investigative interviews and other services to child abuse victims in west Jefferson County.

Owens House in Shelby County will use a $16,241 grant to hire a staff member to serve as an advocate for child abuse victims. The center also provides counseling and guidance through the criminal justice process.

A $14,500 economic stimulus grant will help Prescott House maintain enough staff hours to continue full assistance to child abuse victims in Birmingham and Jefferson County.

The Talladega County Child Advocacy Center is receiving an $8,298 economic stimulus grant to help continue counseling, advocacy and other assistance to child abuse victims in Clay, Coosa and Talladega counties.

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