PADUCAH -- Governor Andy Beshear is in west Kentucky for his first visit to the area since winning the election.

He brought gifts too.

Beshear visited Lotus, the sexual assault and child abuse advocacy center in Paducah, and gave them a check for $360,000.

The grant money will be used for the sanctuary project.

Part one was buying a lot in front of the building for $275,000.

The remaining money will go into landscaping and design that is trauma informed.

Beshear says this move is bipartisan and is the right thing to do to help victims in our area.

"Putting any differences aside because this is too important. We live in a state that some rank as first in the country in child abuse and neglect. When we live in a state that has a culture of sexual assault where one in two Kentucky women will have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime, we have to be able to put any area of disagreement aside and focus on the need here," said Beshear.

The sanctuary project has already started and will take about 6-9 months to complete. 

The executive director of Lotus, Lori Wells Brown, says there is a lot of research to support the benefit of nature on victims.

They are still looking for community financial partners to help fund about $250,000 more that is needed for this project.

Those interested in helping should call 270-534-4422.