By DORIS CHANDLER
Sun sluff writer
Three grants to the Sexual and
Physical Abuse Resource Center in
Gainesville ultimately will benefit
victims of domestic violence in
Alachua, Bradford, Putnam and
SPARC will use a $21,584 grant
from the Florida Coalition Against
Domestic Violence to expand its
services in Bradford, Union and
"This grant will allow us to hire a
person to work on coordinating
community response to domestic
violence in those three counties,"
said Mary Nutter, SPARC's execu-
tive director. A community task
force will be established in all three
counties. Alachua County already
has a task force.
Grants will "We've had
workers in the
benefit three outlying
domestic counties before
now, but this
violence person will reach
victims out to the people
in law enforce-
ment, the judicial
system and the hospitals by getting
them to come to the table and start
talking about domestic violence,"
Reports of domestic violence
have been increasing in two of
those three counties, partly because
of greater awareness, Nutter said.
For example, in 1995 there were
nine reported domestic violence
incidents in Union County. In 1996,
SPARC's first year offering services
in Union County, that number
jumped to 24.
Bradford County had 144 reports
of domestic violence in 1995 and
186 in 1996. There was no notice-
able increase in Putnam, she said,
but a shelter is high on the list of
priorities for that county. Women in
the three outlying counties seeking
a haven, from abuse now come to
the shelter in Gainesville, she said.
A second grant, $25,000 from the
state in October, will allow SPARC
to establish a pilot program in Ala-
chua County to train medical pro-
fessionals to recognize and deal
with victims of domestic violence.
"Medical professionals are
trained to believe that most adult
injuries happen by accident, and
only when a very severely injured
woman comes in are eyebrows
raised in suspicion," Nutter said.
The third grant, for an unspeci-
fied amount, also is expected in
October, and is part of a $10 million
federal grant announced Wednes-
day by Gov. Lawton Chiles.