Grants to Help Sexual Assault Victims
Sexual assault victims in Chambers, Lee, Macon and Tallapoosa counties will continue to have access to free, professional assistance thanks in part to two grants totaling $62,000 awarded by Gov. Robert Bentley. The grants will help Opelika-based Rape Counselors of East Alabama operate a 24-hour crisis line, offer staff to accompany victims to the hospital and provide medical exams by nurses who are specially trained to handle sexual assault cases. The organization also conducts training to help law enforcement officers and hospital nurses understand and respond to the needs of sexual assault victims. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is managing the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice. Bentley notified Steve Martin, Rape Counselors of East Alabama board president, that the grants had been approved. Matching funds of $13,000 are supplementing the awards.