In the last decade at least 1,300 Georgians 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 Georgians get the support they need, Verizon Wireless and the Georgia Commission on Family Violence (GCFV) have announced that micro grants totaling $14,000 have been given to 18 local Domestic Violence Task Forces statewide. The funds will be used to create and execute initiatives to confront the issues addressed in the Annual GA Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report, a joint effort of GCFV and the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Among the grants awarded was one to the Cobb County Domestic Violence Task Force so it can train law enforcement on strangulation assault and other lethality factors.
“Our comprehensive Fatality Report brings to light just how pervasive domestic and dating violence is in Georgia and Verizon Wireless has always been supportive of our efforts to affect change in this area. We encouraged task forces from around the state to apply for grants and to tell us how the funds would address the issue. We were very pleased with the proposals and look forward to supporting these important projects,” Greg Loughlin, executive director, Georgia Commission on Family Violence, said in a release.
Grants have been awarded to the following organizations and programs:
- Athens-Clarke Oconee County Task Force: to provide trainings for faith leaders on family violence and for community members on strangulation
- Camden County Family Violence Task Force: to produce DVDs to assist potential and current victims of domestic violence, including a component on strangulation
- Cherokee County Domestic Violence Task Force: to develop family violence tool kits for school counselors and school police
- Conasauga Family Violence Alliance: to support the 8th Annual Dalton Domestic Violence Conference
- Coweta County Domestic Violence Task Force: to develop the “HANDS OFF!” Project, a web-based informational and training module regarding strangulation assault
- DeKalb County Task Force on Domestic Violence: to post domestic violence material in common areas and restrooms of the courthouse
- Forsyth County Domestic Violence Task Force: to conduct the Forsyth County Forum on Domestic Violence, including the issues of children exposed to domestic violence, teen dating violence, barriers to service, and strangulation assault
- Fulton County Family Violence Task Force: to create and distribute cards to police officers about the HB 911 bill going into effect July 1 that adds provisions regarding strangulation as an aggravated assault
- Griffin Judicial Circuit Domestic Violence Task Force: to conduct certified law-enforcement training
- Houston County Family Violence Prevention Council: to conduct outreach to communities of faith
- Lowndes County Family Violence Task Force: to conduct a Family Violence Conference focusing on strangulation, working with LGBTQ victims
- Muscogee County Domestic Violence Roundtable: to conduct a community educational event and a Candlelight Vigil
- North Enotah Domestic Violence Task Force: to increase awareness and reduction of elder abuse
- Paulding County Domestic Violence Task Force: to conduct a Candlelight Vigil
- Savannah-Chatham Family Violence Council: to train officers on the HB 911 bill regarding strangulation
- Troup County Domestic Violence Task Force: to incorporate teen dating violence as a component of the 4th Annual Teen Maze project
- Waycross Judicial Circuit Family Violence Task Force: to provide separate trainings on strangulation and underlying issues for the Waycross and Coffee County Bar Associations, Law Enforcement, and to Waycross Judicial Circuit Superior, State and Magistrate Court Judges
Additionally, Verizon Wireless is supporting GCFV’s 20th Annual Statewide Family Violence Conference later this year with a $30,000 HopeLine grant. To learn more or to register for the conference, visit www.gcfv.org.
“We are pleased to once again be the primary supporter of the annual Family Violence Conference, which sheds light on this pervasive issue and drives action for change,” Jonathan LeCompte, president of Verizon Wireless’ Georgia/Alabama Region, said in a release. “Additionally, the micro grants given to the domestic violence task forces statewide will go far in helping Georgia to become a better, safer place for families.”For more than a decade, Verizon Wireless has been committed to the issue of domestic violence through the company’s HopeLine Program. Exclusive to Verizon, HopeLine puts Verizon’s technology and the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless network to work in communities by turning no-longer-used wireless phones into support for victims of domestic violence and helps protect the environment by disposing of wireless phones in an environmentally sound way. Since the program’s inception in 2001, Verizon has awarded more than $21.4 million in cash grants to domestic violence organizations as well as donated more than 180,000 refurbished phones, preloaded with voice minutes and text messages, to victims and survivors. For more information about HopeLine from Verizon, visit www.verizonwireless.com/HopeLine.