One Place of the Shoals has ‘exceeded expectations’ for helping victims of abuse, violence

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - October is domestic violence awareness month, but there are countless organizations addressing the issue year-round.

One Place of the Shoals has helped hundreds since it opened to the community last October. Those involved help offer a safe place for victims of violence and abuse.

"It exceeded our expectations," said Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly. "The number of people that we have helped through One Place of the Shoals has been way more than we thought it would be."

From law enforcement referrals to simply walking up and ringing the bell, Connolly said more and more victims are reaching out for help. Going forward, they would like to expand that help.

"We want to be able to provide additional services to them away from the crisis," he said.

Churches in the Shoals community are hoping to fill that spot. They held a summit with One Place recently to help them understand abuse and create a faith-based support system for both law enforcement and victims.

"We want to come together with one voice and say there's enough," said Lee Pierson with Hendrix Road Baptist Church. "This cycle of abuse is just continuing on, and they need to know they can ask for help."

Several churches, including Hendrix Road Baptist Church, want to get the word out that they are also available to victims seeking faith-based support. They want to grow their mission.

"It's our Christian responsibility and Christian duty, and with the love that we show in our community, to support those who have been victims of these crimes and to be there for them."

There is a website created for victims to find a churches offering support and services. They also offer education and links to community services for victims of abuse.

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