In the last decade at least 1,300 Georgia residents have lost their lives to domestic violence.
In 2013 alone, almost 59,000 of the state’s citizens called into the crisis lines of certified domestic violence agencies.
These sobering numbers, as stated in the Georgia Commission on Family Violence 2014 fact sheet, and many other similar statistics are why organizations that provide services to domestic violence victims around the state need support.
To help ensure Georgia residents get the support they need, Verizon Wireless and the Georgia Commission on Family Violence announced on Thursday that micro grants totaling $14,000 have been awarded to 18 local Domestic Violence Task Forces statewide.
The Cherokee County Domestic Violence Task Force applied for $1,000 of these grant monies and received the full amount requested.
The funds will be used to create and execute initiatives to confront the issues addressed in the nnual Georgia Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report, a joint effort of GCFV and the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“Fatality Review findings in Georgia drive the work of our Task Force," said Cherokee County Domestic Violence Task Force Chair David Simmons of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office. "This year’s report provided us a unique opportunity to address the gaps in response to these domestic violence crimes.”
The Cherokee Task Force formed a sub-committee that will use the grant to develop family violence tool kits to be distributed to school counselors and school police throughout Cherokee County in the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.
Sub-committee member Lisa Williams of the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office notes the kits will include materials and information on intimate partner violence, children exposed to violence, teen dating abuse, safety planning and community resources intended for local use by the school system.
“We are excited that the Task Force has received this opportunity to partner with the schools in making sure that even more victims in Cherokee County become aware of resources and services available," added sub-committee member Niki Lemeshka of the Cherokee Family Violence Center. "This presents a great opportunity for our Task Force to tailor information specific to our community and include new partners through the schools in our efforts to end intimate partner violence."
The Cherokee County Domestic Violence Task Force seeks to strengthen the community’s response to family violence by increasing perpetrator accountability, enhancing victim safety, and providing education and awareness to the community.
The Task Force was named Georgia’s 2011 Domestic Violence Task Force of the Year by the Georgia Commission on Family Violence.
Monthly meetings are held the second Friday of every month from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the second floor courtroom at the Cherokee County Historic Courthouse in downtown Canton.
The meetings are open to the public.