Alabama domestic violence shelters to receive additional funding

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 6:01 PM CST
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SELMA, Ala. (WTOK) - Governor Kay Ivey announced that 18 agencies that assist victims of domestic violence will be receiving additional money through the state’s Domestic Violence Trust Fund. The trust fund was created by the Alabama Legislature in 2015 and issues money quarterly to agencies.

Selma and Blackbelt Regional Abuse Sanctuary Inc. is one of the domestic shelters receiving a portion of the $105,757 awarded to the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence this year. SABRA Sanctuary has been established for over 30 years and offers a confidential shelter program. SABRA Sanctuary covers 6 counties including Marengo and Sumter.

News 11 spoke to the Executive Director of the organization, Merrill South, who said domestic violence is a public health problem and can have lasting effects on its victims’ physical and mental health, in addition to a financial strain.

“SABRA Sanctuary helps bring this crisis to light. Not only is our money used for our shelter and for our victims but it’s also used for community awareness and to build the knowledge of what we can do to help prevent domestic violence in the future. We maintain a crisis line 24 hours a day 7 days a week, no holidays. So there is always a live person on the other end of the phone, in our office that takes calls. So we support a salary of a person on the other end of a crisis line. We support a 24-hour shelter likewise. Victims come at all days, all times, and at any given moment and need a place to go. And so because of that need our doors are always open. Those funds are used to do that, to keep the doors open,” said South.

South said in addition to the Selma location, SABRA has a court advocate that travels to all of its counties each week.

“We can meet them where they are literally and figuratively. If we have a client that prefers one-on-one, then we’re more than happy to meet with her face-to-face. If we have several different victims at any given time, we can do group therapy, art therapy, music therapy, anything like that, that is beneficial to a victim and her family,” said South.

If you would like to make an appointment or learn more about SABRA’s resources, visit

The Alabama Office of Prosecution Services is also receiving $80,000 to provide training and other support to assist victims and prosecute cases.