MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (1/23/14) — The Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation has announced that The Sanctuary, a non-profit agency committed to assisting victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, will receive a $12,000 grant from the foundation.
The grant will be used to establish a permanent office in Muhlenberg County.
Sanctuary, serves a nine-county area in the Pennyrile Area Development District.
Anita Brown, director of outreach and education for the agency, told SurfKY News the grant will go a long way toward establishing a new office in Muhlenberg County.
"Muhlenberg County has always been one of our most underserved counties in our district,” said Brown. “In the past, our main advocate has had to travel from Hopkinsville. What we are hoping to do with the satellite office is to have someone available on a daily basis to provide services, whether it's counseling, going to court with victims or whatever else may be needed."
Brown said that the new Muhlenberg County office may not be open during some parts of the day if the advocate is needed for services in other counties. But she stressed the advocate would return to the office each afternoon when court proceedings are finished elsewhere in the district.
"The largest number of domestic violence cases we assist with are in Christian County,” she said. "We have a full time advocate for Christian County. Our other two advocates cover the rest of our area."
Brown noted that the salaries of advocates are now covered by the federal Victims of Crime Act.
This will allow the entire amount of the grant money to be used to keep a permanent Muhlenberg County office open. Brown said the grant comes at a good time, since federal and state funding has been cut in recent years.
"Over the past few years our funding has gone down,” she said. “We just lost a grant in October of 2013 which had helped provide services in Christian, Todd and Hopkins counties for housing of abuse victims. The money has been harder and harder to get each year, so we were really excited when we were able to secure the Martin grant."
Sanctuary, Inc. is specifically looking for office space in the downtown Greenville area, Brown said.
"We want to find an office that will allow us to be as close to the courthouse as possible,” she said.
SurfKY News Reporter
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