‘One Place of the Shoals’ opens its doors to victims

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - Domestic violence and abuse victims now have a place to go in the Shoals to get all the help they need. It's only the second of its kind in the state.

City and state leaders, as well as community members, cut the ribbon at One Place of the Shoals Tuesday. It was a big accomplishment for all involved in making it a reality.

Dianne Bently is a long lime advocate for domestic violence victims. She said it was her duty to help this mission.

"People in the Shoals can now receive legal advice, crisis counseling, medical examinations and law enforcement interviews all under one roof," she said. "While a mother receives help, her children are cares for in a separate room, with a professional child advocate, so they don't have to hear the story over and over again."

Hundreds showed up the the ribbon cutting Tuesday. It showed just how important the center is the the area. The building in downtown Florence is an accomplishment many were willing to fight for.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said the mission is simple; turn victims into survivors.

"That's what it's all about," said Connolly. "Empower the victims so that we break the cycle of violence and we make victims, survivors."

Funding for One Place of the Shoals wouldn`t be possible without help from the community and beyond. It took passionate leaders to make it happen.

"They needed one place to go to and receive information about victim services. They needed one place to go to to connect with various advocates and professionals. I needed one place where domestic violence provention platform could be started," said Misses Bentley.

The doors officially open Wednesday morning to anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse or violence.

It is located on the corner of Pine and Tennessee Street in downtown Florence.