|DeKalb Solicitor to host resource fair to help victims of domestic violence|
|Written by OCG News Staff|
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and DeKalb County Solicitor-General Sherry Boston is inviting the public to attend a community resource fair and symposium on domestic violence.
The fair will be held Thursday, Oct. 24, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Manuel Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Co-sponsored by Verizon Wireless, the third annual event entitled “Building Bridges, Making Connections: Coordinating a Community Response to Domestic Violence” will feature survivors, experts and community resources on intimate partner violence, as well as a free breakfast.
In conjunction with the symposium, the Solicitor General’s Office is collecting used cell phones to donate to Verizon’s HopeLine. HopeLine is a Verizon Wireless program that turns no-longer-used wireless phones into support for victims of domestic violence. Those who are not able to attend the symposium are asked to drop off used cell phones at the Solicitor-General’s Office on the 5th floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse.
“We are trying to do everything we can to assist victims of domestic violence, and collecting used cell phones is one more way we can help,” says Solicitor-General Boston, “This is a very serious and unfortunately, far too common problem in our community. We need to find ways to stop these crimes before they happen.” The Solicitor-General’s Office prosecutes misdemeanor cases of domestic violence, and Boston created a Special Victims Unit (SVU) to investigate and prosecute domestic violence and stalking crimes.
Three domestic violence survivors will speak at the symposium including Tamiko Lowry, who started an organization to mentor victims of domestic violence. In describing her own experience, Lowry says, “It’s devastating; it’s very difficult. I think the hardest part is overcoming shame and guilt.”
Pastor Sabrina McKenzie, a survivor whose sister was murdered in a case of domestic violence, will speak and perform a liturgical dance.
“It took other people seeing the symptoms for me to know and see that this was not normal,” said McKenzie. “You can start again; you can rebuild your life.”
Other participants include representatives from the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, DeKalb County Police, DeKalb County Magistrate Court, the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence, Raksha and Men Stopping Violence.
According to a recent study released by the Washington- based Violence Policy Center, Georgia has the 12th highest rate in the nation for women killed by men.
How You Can Help
Donate your used cell phones. The DeKalb Solocitor General is collecting them to give to Verizon Wireless’ Hope Line to assist victims of domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse in a relationship, call 911 if there is immediate danger. If there is not immediate danger, call the 24-hour toll-free Georgia Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-33-HAVEN (4-2836) voice/TTY in Georgia.