SEPTEMBER 16, 2020

ATLANTA - The Georgia Commission on Family Violence (GCFV) presented its Task Force of The Year Award to the Cherokee County Domestic Violence Task Force at the 26th Annual Family Violence Conference.

Task Force Co-Chair Tommie DeGonzague said: “We are honored to receive this recognition from the Georgia Commission on Family Violence. More than 20 years ago, Cherokee County showed its commitment to addressing the problem of family violence by establishing this task force. That commitment remains today with active members meeting once a month to discuss issues, plan training and events, and ensure victims are provided the services they need.”

Family Violence Task Forces are multidisciplinary community groups (government agencies, community-based agencies, survivors of family violence, concerned community members and professionals) whose focus is on increasing victim safety and offender accountability through coordinating local services and effecting change through creating a coordinated community response to domestic violence.

Rachel Ashe, Co-Chair of the Cherokee County Domestic Violence Task Force said, “This pandemic has changed a lot about the way we live and work, but the need for a coordinated response to domestic violence remains the same. Incidents of domestic violence have remained steady, or in some cases have increased, since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. We are lucky to have a group that remains committed to ending family violence in our community, even if that now means meeting virtually.”

The Task Force's mission and vision is to strengthen and sustain the coordinated community response to family violence in Cherokee County, Georgia.

The Task Force’s work includes conducting multiple case reviews on serious, and oftentimes nearly fatal, domestic violence cases. One case review in particular conducted by the Task Force led to a major systems change in the way special conditions of bond and conditions of probation are flagged in Cherokee County, improving survivor safety and offender accountability. The Task Force also recently amended its bylaws to provide for a new way to conduct meetings. In order to increase meeting attendance and participation, the Task Force began to hold monthly meetings on a rotating schedule at different law enforcement agencies around the county. This resulted in greater participation, feedback, and involvement from Task Force meeting attendees.

The Task Force also co-sponsored and hosted several community events this past year. During National Crime Victims' Rights Week they worked with the Sheriff's Office, the DA's Office, and the Solicitor General's Office to host a week-long series of events. They set up informational tables in several spots around the county for the entire week, hosted a candlelight vigil which was attended by each head of agency and many members of the community, and also provided a very successful seminar for a local senior center.

The Commission’s 26th annual family violence conference was held virtually for the first time on September 14-16, 2020. The theme of this year’s conference was Crafting a Coordinated Community Response: Working Together to Address Relationship Violence. Over 650 local and national stakeholders attended the sold out conference, including judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, advocates, survivors, faith leaders, counselors and community members.

About GCFV: The Georgia Commission on Family Violence, created by The Georgia General Assembly in 1992, is charged with developing a comprehensive state plan for ending family violence in Georgia. If you or someone that you know is being impacted by domestic violence, call 1-800-334-2836 to speak with a domestic violence advocate.

Contact Information:

Press Contact: April Ross, [email protected]