ATLANTA - The Georgia Commission on Family Violence (GCFV) will host its 21st annual Statewide Family Violence Conference at the Classic Center in Athens, GA. The conference begins Sunday, September 27th and will run through Wednesday, September 30th. The theme of this year’s event is: Addressing Domestic Violence in the 21st Century: Where do we go from here?
Over 350 local and national community stakeholders including: judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, advocates, survivors, faith leaders, counselors and community members have registered for the event. Featured keynote speakers include: Kit Gruelle - Domestic violence survivor, nationally recognized advocate and subject of the Emmy nominated film, Private Violence; Staley Heatly - Texas District Attorney and member of the public policy committee of the Texas Council on Family Violence; and Christy Sims - Atlanta native, inspirational public speaker and domestic violence survivor. Christy’s life was forever changed on April 28th, 2013 when her ex-boyfriend severely disfigured her by dousing her with sulfuric acid. Christy has been featured on numerous media outlets, including V-103, WAOK, 104.7, and The Tom Joyner Morning Show.
GCFV Chair, Holly Tuchman says she’s excited and encouraged regarding the positive strides being made by the Commission towards ending domestic and family violence in Georgia. “We are continuing to move the work forward by listening to the voices of survivors and by addressing the unique trends and challenges concerning domestic violence in the 21st century,” said Tuchman.
Local and national professionals will present important information on a wide-range of family violence issues such as lethality indicators, legal advocacy, child witnesses, youth education, stalking, language access and the role of firearms in domestic violence. This year’s event will also feature a sexual assault advocacy tract for sexual assault advocates and other interested attendees. Topics of discussion will include the intersection of domestic violence and sexual assault, consent and prevention.
“Training and workshops such as those offered at the upcoming conference help to further the important work being done by the Commission and to create safe homes for all Georgians,” said GCFV Executive Director Jennifer Thomas.
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) provided scholarships to domestic violence advocates and sexual assault advocates to cover some of the costs associated with attending the event.
The Georgia Commission on Family Violence was created in 1992 by the Georgia General Assembly. The Commission is charged with the development of a comprehensive state plan for ending family violence in Georgia.