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Ivey awards grant to assist sexual assault victims in Southwest Alabama

Gov. Kay Ivey at her first State of the State Address in 2018. (ADAM BRASHER/THE AUBURN PLAINSMAN)

Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a $316,475 grant to assist sexual assault victims in three southwestern Alabama counties.

The grant was awarded to the Family Counseling Center of Mobile Inc. to offer no-cost professional services to sexual assault victims and affected family members in Mobile, Clarke and Washington counties.

“Sexual assault is a horrendous physical and mental offense that affects victims and their families,” Governor Ivey said. “I commend the work of the staff and volunteers of the Family Counseling Center of Mobile for helping repair torn lives.”

Counselors with the Family Counseling Center accompany victims to the hospital after assaults and follows up with individual and family counseling and assists victims in prosecuting offenders.

In addition to the grant, the center also relies on local, private donations to ensure that free services remain available to victims.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the program from funds made available to the state from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“ADECA joins Gov. Ivey in commending the work and compassion of Family Counseling Center of Mobile,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. Ivey notified Sharee Broussard, president of the Family Counseling Center of Mobile, that the grant had been approved.

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According to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), there are approximately 321,500 (age 12 or older) victims of rape and sexual assault yearly. It is estimated that only 32 percent are actually sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement. In 80 percent of these cases, the victims knew or were related to the offender. According to the latest data reported by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Crime in Alabama, 1,890 rapes were reported to law enforcement in 2017. Seventy-nine percent of these rapes were committed by someone the victims knew. Nearly 23 percent of these victims were between the ages of 13 and 16.

ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim programs, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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