Domestic Violence Coalition to form in Dougherty Co. - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Domestic Violence Coalition to form in Dougherty Co.

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Getting an exact count on domestic violence cases can be tricky because so many go unreported.

Law enforcers, attorneys, and mental health professionals are coming together to educate Dougherty County about domestic violence and find ways to combat the problem. Domestic violence is topic few like to talk about.

Some community leaders want to change that. They're talking about the resources available to help those in a domestic violence situation in hopes of reducing the problem. So far this year law enforcement in Dougherty County have responded to more than 1300 domestic violence cases.

"Potentially they are among the most dangerous calls to respond to," said Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek.

Even more cases however go unreported for various reasons.

"Way more cases we're not able to make an arrest, then we are when we do make an arrest," said Cheek.

"Isolated remedies don't work we know that," said Dougherty County Judge Denise Marshall.

That's why law enforcement, advocates against domestic violence and mental health professionals are combining their resources, to see how they can work collectively to battle this problem.

"Our goal is to continue to raise awareness in the community, to continue to educate people, to advocate for victims," said Adam Martin, Insight Licensed Professional Counselor.

They're trying to develop an educational program that can be presented to community groups to make people aware that there is help beyond a call to police.

"Task forces like this on the ground level give you the best results or the best indicators of what you need to be doing," said Marshall.

Dougherty County Police are already tracking the number of multiple family violence calls to the homes they serve. The group talked about extending that to all of 911, giving them a better idea who needs help and where family violence continues to be a problem. The group hopes by next month to have those educational material together so they can begin talking to local community groups.

The Liberty House Shelter is planning activities during Domestic Violence Awareness month in October.

For more information about Georgia's Family Violence Intervention Programs you can call (404) 657-3412 or you can visit www.gcfv.org. You can also call 1-800-33 HAVEN a toll free, statewide, 24-hour hotline for a place to help or find resources.


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