THOMASVILLE -- A local organization that serves as a haven of hope in the storm of domestic violence has been singled out by Gov. Sonny Perdue for its positive contributions to women and children suffering abuse.

On March 5, Halcyon Home for Battered Women Inc., was honored as a model domestic violence shelter in the state of Georgia. In a special ceremony at the State Capitol, Perdue spotlighted a grant to Halcyon Home in the amount of $68,983.

The award is part of the 2003 Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization (RDVCV) Grant Program that was awarded to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) on behalf of the state of Georgia. The project seeks to target concurrently occuring cases of domestic violence and child abuse and to develop effective resources for battered women and abused children in rural areas of the state.

Gale Bruckner, executive director of the CJCC, said, "The RDVCV grant program provides vital support to four sites in rural areas to either establish or expand their services to victims in Georgia."

The RDVCV program is based in Thomasville, Valdosta, Waycross, and Statesboro.

Halcyon Executive Director Chris Marsh was particularly proud of the award in light of its selectivity.

"The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council funded 262 organizations this year. Gov. Perdue asked the CJCC to select eighteen of these organizations to honor at his office. Out of the eighteen organizations, there could be only two domestic violence shelters, and Halcyon Home was one of the two," she said.

Purdue underscored the importance of Halcyon Home's contribution to the community.

"Domestic violence is a crime that affects all of society. Halcyon Home is a wonderful example of a community's response to combating domestic violence."

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