According to a press release issued by Gov. Robert Bentley’s office, a $119,012 grant to Crisis Center Inc. in Birmingham will help continue the Rape Response program that provides counseling and advocacy services to victims of sexual assault in Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker counties.
The Prescott House, a Birmingham-based child advocacy program that covers Walker County, recently received a $90,000 grant to further its services for victims of sexual abuse.
The Prescott House provides mental health services and court advocacy for sexually abused children. It also provides trained staff members that interview child victims. The interviews can be viewed or referred to later by attorneys and investigators, which saves the child from having to testify about the abuse multiple times.
Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair said he is happy to hear about the grants.
Though he and Walker County District Judge Henry Allred have worked to establish a child advocacy center in Walker County, Adair said the Prescott House is a tremendous help to law enforcement in Walker County.
Adair said the effort to establish the Walker County Child Advocacy Center is progressing. He said local accountant Joe Downs Jr. has volunteered his services to help get the organization’s nonprofit status.
Adair said all of the nonprofit paperwork is due by December. Organizers of the local advocacy center will likely start fundraising in January of 2013. He said his office will also provide funds to the center.
The grants for the Prescott House and Crisis Center Inc. are part of $483,970 in grants administered to five nonprofits in north central Alabama serving victims of sexual assault.
The funds are made available through the U.S. Justice Department and are administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.