Grant Awarded to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center

Through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and Gov. Bob Riley, the Domestic Violence Intervention Center in Opelika was awarded a $10,000 grant.

According to the press release provided by ADECA, the Domestic Violence Intervention Center in Opelika supports victims of domestic violence and assault in five east Alabama counties.

"Someone who is a victim of domestic violence or assault needs to know that help is available immediately," Riley said. "I commend the intervention center for serving east Alabama residents in their time of need.

The counties are Chambers, Lee, Macon, Randolph and Tallapoosa.

Josh Carples, public information specialist of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, said the grant was awarded to help the domestic violence center. Carples said the grant would enable the center to help victims in domestic violence and sexual assault situations.

He said ADECA provides numerous of grants for different agencies. He also said the nonprofit agency applied for the grant and its application was approved.

Carples said ADECA receives money from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and grants the money to the different programs. The agency has to apply through one of the programs of the DOJ.

The grant that the intervention center received was continuation funding, and the funding came through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which is part of the DOJ, he said.

He said all applications go through the Law and Traffic Safety Division, and they review all the grant applications and figure out which organization can be funded.

"I agree with what Riley said about victims of domestic violence," Carples said. "We definitely agree with the importance of helping victims."

Lisa Stephens, executive director of the Domestic Violence Intervention Center in Opelika, explained how they received the continuation funding.

Stephens said the application is a one-year grant application and every year they have to renew the application.

In order to receive the continued funding, they have to make sure they complete the application.

Once they were awarded the grant they could continue their program.

"We felt great," Stephens said. "The project can continue."

The funding received covers a crisis line, said Stephens, adding that it also helps to fund the crisis line coordinator who receives the majority of calls from clients that call the hotline.

Stephens said she felt it was important the funding went toward the crisis line, and that funding for the crisis line is vital because the victim can get in contact with the organization if they are in need.

She said it is the first step for assistance that a caller will receive.

"Domestic violence is definitely a problem that not only affects the victim, it affects the children," Stephens said. "We have to start by helping those in our community."

According to a press release provided by ADECA, Riley had good things to say about the agency and the work that they do for the community.

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