Alabama Distributes Dollar Three Million: ADECA has doled out $3 million in funds to aid domestic violence victims across the state, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice. Seven Alabama organizations have been granted money, with the Family Resource Center of Northwest Alabama Inc. in Walker County receiving $150,326.
Lila Sears, the executive director, shared that last year, they assisted 65 victims, including 25 children, and received 25-300 crisis calls annually. With a population of 63,000 in Walker County, Sears emphasized the challenge of reaching all victims.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Victims of Crimes Act provides an annual grant, serving as a significant portion of their operating budget. The shelter accommodates about 10 people simultaneously, with 24/7 on-site staff. The grant for this year is $150,326, a decrease from the $167,029 awarded in 2022.
Funding from the Victims of Crime Act comes from criminal fines and penalties, not federal taxpayer dollars. Sears highlighted the impact of fund reduction, anticipating further cuts in the coming years. She emphasized the need for Alabama’s congressional delegates to fully fund VOCA.
While a 10% cut may seem small, Sears emphasized its significance in caring for domestic violence victims. Keegan Douglas, a court advocate, expressed concern, stating that while they can manage a 10% cut, further reductions could strain their ability to provide services.
Sears stressed the urgency of fully funding VOCA at the federal level to prevent service cuts, potential shelter closures, and the continued support of domestic violence victims.