October 2, 2007
ATLANTA (GA) – Domestic violence is the leading cause of injuries for girls and women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the state of Georgia. And according to statistics, nearly 30 percent of Georgia women in that age group will be abused at least once by their partners during their lifetime. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and across the state the Family Violence Unit of the Department of Family and Children Services is joining health care providers, businesses, policy makers, faith-based groups, college and high school students, and many others in statewide activities and community events to raise awareness about domestic abuse.
The Family Violence Unit will sponsor numerous conscience-raising events for employees and the public alike throughout the month of October. The goal is to bring together advocates working to end family violence which overwhelming affect women and children, and to encourage more community support for a family’s or victim’s circumstances.
"We need to change our response to neighbors, co-workers, friends, acquaintances in dangerous relationships," said Pat Holloway, program director of the Family Violence Unit. "Instead of saying: ‘Thank goodness this isn’t happening in my home,’ we need to ask" ‘Are you okay?’ If you know that someone is in trouble you need to reach out."
All month long program administrators and partnering organizations will step up efforts and reach out with lifesaving information specific to signs of domestic abuse, safety plans, options available to victims, community organizations that work with survivors of domestic violence, and how to identify and help victims. "This is a universal problem that needs greater community responsibility," Holloway said. Our efforts will include everything from posters to workshops to community candlelight vigils to teen dating violence programs."
The Family Violence Unit saw approximately 31,500 new victim cases statewide from July 2006 to July 2007. Of those roughly 9,000 Georgians, including more than 4,000 children, took refuge in shelters. The Family Violence Unit administers funds for operation of 45 certified family violence programs and shelters. Each shelter provides a 24-hour crisis line, counseling services, children’s programs, parenting support and education, household re-establishment and relocation, links to other social service agencies, and follow up services.
For a complete list of statewide, DHR sponsored Domestic Awareness Violence Month activities and events visit www.gadfcs.org/familyviolence and for more information about DHR’s Family Violence Unit send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the Crisis Hotline call 1-800-33-HAVEN.
For information contact:
Beverly Jones, 404-657-1387