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Aiken County victim support groups getting help from state

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 11:36 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced victim support groups from across the state are set to receive $32 million in grants.

“These grants are going to go towards people who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, human trafficking, as well as various other crimes,” Wilson said.

Wilson also said giving back to organizations that help survivors is one of his favorite things to do.

Nikeisha Martin is one of those survivors, having been involved in multiple abusive relationships.

The mother of eight struggled for almost a decade to get away from her abusers.

“Finally, I had to flee to a shelter by the hand of a good friend who found a shelter for me locally, from that point I transitioned to New Beginnings, I was one of the first residents at that shelter,” Martin said.

Multiple stays at the New Beginnings Transitional Shelter in Bennettsville helped Martin turn her life around. She now works there, using her own experience to help fellow survivors.

“You don’t see what may unfold afterwards, so trust in God, trust in God and let him open those doors. But he needs you to be willing to open those doors and then the sky is the limit,” she said.

Here’s a look at some of the organizations in the region that will get money from the grants:

Aiken County: $912,309

  • Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County: A project will continue to provide funding for forensic interviews and advocacy services to who are victims of abuse and their non-offending family/caregivers. Another project will continue to increase the agency’s capacity to conduct needs assessments and follow-ups/case management with child victims and their non-offending caregivers.
  • Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons: A project will continue to provide funding for its victim service advocacy and counseling program.
  • Helping Hands Inc.: A project will continue to provide direct advocacy and therapy to individual child victims of abuse who have been/are residents at Helping Hands.

Orangeburg County: $285,570

  • First Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office: A project will continue to provide additional assistance to victims of General Sessions cases, Domestic Violence Magistrate victims and juvenile case victims.
  • CASA/Family Systems: A project will continue to enhance the capacity of the Edisto Children’s Center under CASA that provides services to children seventeen and under who have been victims of sexual or physical abuse, neglect, domestic violence or drug endangerment. Another project will continue to assist CASA Family Systems by expanding services and programs to the underserved communities of Bamberg, Calhoun, and Orangeburg counties.

From reports by WRDW/WAGT and WMBF