Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded $437,231 in grants to a nonprofit agency that supplies aid to domestic violence victims whose families come from south Asia.
The funds will make it possible for AshaKiran Inc. to continue to operate a 24-hour crisis line, provide training for staff and volunteers and help in the operation of emergency shelters for victims in Jefferson and Madison counties.
Volunteers created the organization to offer culturally specific social services and support to South Asian ethnic minorities who shy away from seeking social services because of cultural and language barriers.
“All domestic violence victims deserve caring and professional assistance when escaping abusive situations,” Bentley said. “I commend the staff and volunteers of AshaKiran for their efforts to make culturally sensitive resources available to women who may not traditionally utilize social services due to cultural and/or language barriers.”
Funding will also enable the organization to expand its culturally specific services. The organization will be able to offer community outreach events and provide training to help shelters that face language and cultural issues that may act as a barrier to serving victims.
AshaKiran Inc. is one of 17 domestic violence centers in Alabama to receive additional funding through the state’s Domestic Violence Trust Fund. The fund was created through the state marriage license fee and is distributed quarterly to the agencies.