Grant will help fight violence

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley has awarded a $61,500 grant to the Domestic Violence Intervention Center in Opelika for continuation of its services to battered women and their children. The organization serves Lee, Chambers, Macon, Randolph and Tallapoosa counties.

The center provides a 24-hour crisis line, safe and confidential emergency shelter, individual and group counseling, legal advocacy and support groups for victims of domestic violence. A school-based violence prevention program is also offered.

“When domestic violence occurs, victims need a safe place to turn,” said Riley. “I thank the staff of the domestic violence center for providing shelter and other crucial services to victims in East Alabama.”

The non-profit organization was founded in 1980 and assisted its first victim in January of 1981. Since then, more than 3,500 women and children have received shelter and more than 9,500 crisis calls have been answered. The organization is a member of the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Riley notified Tom O’Shea, president of the organization’s board of directors, that he had approved the grant. $15,375 in local funding will supplement the grant.

The award is made possible through funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and will be administered through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.