Gov. Bentley awards grants to domestic violence nonprofit

AshaKiran supports victims of domestic abuse within Asian families. (Source: MGN Online)
AshaKiran supports victims of domestic abuse within Asian families. (Source: MGN Online)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WAFF) - A new grant from Governor Robert Bentley is supporting the needs of domestic violence victims.

Bentley awarded more than $57,000 in grants to a nonprofit agency that provides aid specifically tailored to the needs of domestic violence victims whose families originate from south Asia.

A $27,411 grant will enable AshaKiran Inc. to continue operating a 24-hour crisis line and provide emergency shelter for victims in Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker counties.

Another grant in the amount of $30,025 will help expand culturally specific services to the state's 19 domestic violence victim assistance programs and 15 sexual assault victim assistance programs.

The nonprofit organization will offer community outreach events and provide training to help shelters across the state to deal with language and cultural issues that are sometimes a barrier to serving victims.

AshaKiran serves immigrants from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Volunteers formed AshaKiran to offer culturally specific social services and support to South Asian ethnic minorities who, according to organization officials, tend not to utilize social services due to cultural and language barriers.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice. ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, infrastructure upgrades, recreation, energy conservation, water resource management, job training and career development.

Matching funds of $14,359 will supplement the grants.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.