Opelika Domestic Violence Center Gets State Grant - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

East Alabama

Opelika Domestic Violence Center Gets State Grant

The Domestic Violence Intervention Center in Opelika has received a $61,500 grant from Alabama Governor Bob Riley. That allows it to pay the salaries of advocates and help victims.

Domestic violence is a problem law enforcement is trying to solve.

"A lot of what we do, unfortunately, involves the crime of domestic violence. It is prevalent throughout all strata of society. It's not limited to any one particular group," said Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones.

That's why the Domestic Violence Intervention Center is a powerful partner for officers.

"The highest percentage of victims, of course, includes women and children. That's what the center is for. To assist women, these victims of domestic violence and provide them a place of safe haven," Jones said.

More than 3,500 victims have been sheltered here, and almost 10,000 crisis calls have been answered since 1981. That's why the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs has continued its support with the continuing grant.

"The funds we receive will go to pay the salaries of the advocates that assist these victims in accomplishing their goals. Whether it's to find housing, employment, or daycare for their children, said Lisa Stephens, executive director of DVIC.

The center will also have to supplement the grant with $15,375 in local funds. Stephens said it's not pleasant to imagine what would happen if the money and advocates were not there to pull people out of abusive places.

"They're left in that situation. Having these funds is crucial to continuing to provide much-needed services to victims of domestic violence," she said.

The Domestic Violence Intervention Center is a part of United Way, and donating money there is how you can help keep it going. If you're in an abusive situation, you can contact the center at 1-800-650-6522, or (334)749-1515.  The center covers Lee, Chambers, Macon, Randolph and Tallapoosa counties.

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