Initiative to tackle domestic violence through education, prevention and partnership
DECATUR, Ga. (Sept. 17, 2019)– DeKalb County Solicitor-General Donna Coleman-Stribling received funding from DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond to expand domestic violence prevention and develop initiatives that address domestic violence in the county.
“Since taking office, it has been my goal to equip our community with the resources and knowledge needed to better identify problematic patterns that could lead to deadly consequences,” said Solicitor-General Coleman-Stribling. “It is vital to extend our resources to DeKalb County Police. It is vital to partner with other county agencies and local non-profits to educate our community through free programs. Through this initiative, we will strengthen our partnerships and create a stronger network that can interrupt this deadly cycle.”
Solicitor-General Coleman-Stribling used the funding to create the Not in My DeKalb initiative, which includes a domestic violence prevention and mentorship campaign, community programs, and provides second-response personnel to DeKalb County Police Department’s South Precinct.
“DeKalb County is dedicated to interrupting the violent cycle of domestic abuse,” said CEO Thurmond. “Solicitor-General Coleman-Stribling has created innovative strategies such as Dancing with the DeKalb Stars to address this tragic issue and the new program is another tool to aid domestic violence survivors and their families.”
As a part of the Not in My DeKalb initiative, Solicitor-General Coleman-Stribling, in partnership with DeKalb County Police Department, will launch a pilot program where a victim advocate from her office is assigned to the South Precinct. This victim advocate will act as second-response personnel for many misdemeanor domestic violence cases. The victim advocate will directly engage with victims within hours of the arrest of the perpetrator. They will assist with information, resources and allow for early intervention in these misdemeanor domestic violence incidents.
Thirty percent of fatalities studied in the Georgia Domestic Violence Fatality Review project involved citizens who were between the ages of 15 and 24. Additionally, during the past decade, an average of 149 Georgians have been killed each year due to domestic violence. Of the more than 13,000 misdemeanor cases prosecuted by Solicitor-General Coleman-Stribling’s office each year, nearly one-third are domestic violence in nature.
Not in My DeKalb features two programs, Because We Are Family and Sunday Night Lights.
Because We Are Family, taking place on select Saturdays, includes workshops focusing on improving families’ communication, as well as tactics for conflict resolution.
Sunday Night Lights is a family-style program to be held on select Sundays, featuring discussions focused on conflict resolution led by certified facilitators over a freshly prepared meal. In addition to Solicitor-General Coleman Stribling, initial partners include DeKalb County Department of Recreation of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs, DeKalb County Board of Health, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia, Men Stopping Violence, Women’s Resource Center and International Women’s House. More partners to be announced at a later date.
The initiative kicks off Sept. 27, with a pop-up summit in the South DeKalb community. Community members are invited to meet local law enforcement, enjoy free food and learn more about the resources in DeKalb combatting intimate partner violence.
Solicitor-General Coleman-Stribling hopes to provide the DeKalb County community with the resources and tactics needed to resolve their interpersonal conflicts.
“This initiative, especially the additional personnel, will aid the team at South Precinct tremendously,” said Joseph Lumpkin, DeKalb County’s public safety director and interim police chief. “Having a trained professional assist in identifying problematic behaviors and patterns will enhance the opportunity for domestic violence victims to receive resources needed to find a way out of this deadly cycle. In many instances, domestic violence is an incubator of violent crimes. If we can directly help and serve repeat victims, we will positively impact our entire county.”
For more information on the Not in My DeKalb initiative, visit www.NotinMyDekalb.com.