Houston appointed to family violence commission - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Houston appointed to family violence commission

News release from the GA House of Representatives

ATLANTA – State Representative Penny Houston (R-Nashville) was appointed to the Georgia Commission on Family Violence (GCFV) by House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) on Friday, July 23, 2010. 

As one of the 37 members, Rep. Houston will help lead the commission in its efforts to coordinate community organizations, the state justice system, and other service providers in order to end family violence in Georgia.

 "I am honored that Speaker Ralston chose me to serve on the Georgia Commission on Family Violence," said Rep. Houston.  "As a mother of three and grandmother of four, I have brought a unique perspective to the Georgia House – a perspective that has enabled me to earn a reputation as a proud advocate for Georgia's women and children.  I look forward to bringing that perspective to the commission and helping them to end family violence in our great state." 

Rep. Houston is on the Board of Trustee's for the Georgia Sheriffs' Boys Ranch in Hahira, GA, and is a former director of the Georgia Sheriffs' Youth Homes.  While working with these organizations, Rep. Houston saw the devastating effects of family violence.

The GCFV is a state agency that was created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1992 to develop a comprehensive state plan for ending family violence in Georgia.  By law, the Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives must appoint three state representatives who are specially qualified to serve on the commission by reason of their experience and knowledge of family violence issues.  In addition to Rep. Houston, Speaker Ralston also appointed Rep. Edward Lindsey (R-Atlanta) and Rep. Stephen Allison (R-Blairsville).

"Representatives Lindsey, Houston, and Allison will bring a unique perspective to the commission grounded in years of professional and legislative experience," said Speaker Ralston.  "I am confident they will represent their constituents, the House of Representatives, and the state well as they work toward a common goal of ending family violence in Georgia."

The GCFV works throughout the state to help create and support task forces made up of criminal justice professionals and other community members working to end domestic violence in their communities. Additionally, GCFV conducts research and provides training about domestic violence, monitors legislation and other policy impacting victims of domestic violence, certifies all of Georgia's Family Violence Intervention Programs, and co-coordinates the statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Project.

Although domestic violence continues to be a major problem for the state, the GCFV and its members are successfully working to end domestic violence in Georgia communities. According to the Violence Policy Center, the domestic violence homicide rate in Georgia has dropped by 16.8 percent since 2001, a rate more than 4 times better than the national average. 

During this year's legislative session, the Georgia House of Representatives recognized the accomplishments and efforts of the GCFV by passing House Resolution 1751.  More information on HR 1751 can be found by clicking here.  

For more information about GCFV or how you can help to end domestic violence in your community, please call 404.657.3412 or visit www.gcfv.org.

If you or someone you know is being abused, there are community and statewide resources available to you. Call 1-800-33-HAVEN (voice/TTY), the toll-free, statewide, 24-hour hotline, for a confidential place to get help or find resources.


Representative Penny Houston represents the citizens of District 170, which includes portions of Berrien, Colquitt, and Cook counties. She was elected into the House of Representatives in 1996, and is currently a Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee. She also serves on the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Banks & Banking, Budget and Fiscal Oversight, and Ways and Means committees.

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