Advocacy center gets another financial boost

By Staff
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
Plans for a child advocacy center in Morgan County received another financial boost last week.
The city of Decatur's Community Development Block Grant recently awarded $4,441 to the board of the child advocacy center. The grant comes on the heels of a $6,000 donation from the Coca-Cola Bottlers' Foundation made earlier this year.
According to Morgan County District Attorney Bob Burrell, a member of the advocacy center board, $20,000 will be needed to start operations.
"Most folks think, when they hear about child advocacy centers, that these facilities are shelters for abused children or are places for offenders to be treated," Burrell said.
Actually, these centers are designed to unite young victims with the experts that can help them and to collect evidence needed for trial in a non-threatening environment.
"The idea is to bring all of the experts to the child in a relaxed atmosphere, in order to spare the child victim from having to be dragged from agency after agency to retell their stories over and over again," Burrell said. "The criminal justice system is not easy for victims to navigate, particularly one of tender years."
The board has raised $11,000 since January. Because of recent state cutbacks, however, they will receive only $1,000 from the state. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the advocacy center, call 351-4610.

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