Domestic Abuse

Leighton Rowell / GPB

Domestic violence and sexual assault are leading causes of injuries for young women and girls over the age of 15 in Georgia, according to the state's Department of Public Health. In fact, reports indicate that 30% of Georgia women in that age group will be abused at least once by their partners in their lifetimes.

To understand why, we spoke with Michelle White, who is a child and youth project manager for the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She explained how to identify and prevent teen dating violence as well as why teens are less likely to report it. And White also described the characteristics of healthy relationships.

In the year since President Trump took office, a new wave of social movements has rippled across the country. March for Science Atlanta brings together scientists, data geeks and average citizens to push for policies that support and reflect research. The group will hold its annual Rally for Science April 14. The Rally for Science keynote speaker is Emory University professor Linda DeGutis. She previously served as director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the CDC. DeGutis will speak on the importance of gun violence research. We spoke with DeGutis and March for Science organizers Louis Kiphen and Allison Halterman.

Columbus Ends Fees For People Who Drop Abuse Allegations

Oct 13, 2017
Peter / Flickr/CC

The city of Columbus, Georgia has agreed to stop making alleged victims in domestic violence cases pay fees when they decline to participate in prosecutions.

The city also agreed to repay $41,844 in fees and damages for the 101 people it charged when they decided not to press charges against their alleged abusers.

Federal Judge Clay Land approved these terms in a class action settlement of a lawsuit filed by the Southern Center for Human Rights in October 2016 against the city of Columbus, a local judge and several law enforcement officers.

Men Stopping Violence

April 2-8 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The Georgia Senate recently passed Marsy's Law and the House will take it up next session. It’s a resolution to amend the state constitution so that crime victims have rights equal to perpetrators and the accused. We spoke with Pastor Sabrina McKenzie. She lost her sister to a violent crime, and now advocates for increased victims’ rights. We also talked with Lee Giordano, Training Director of Men Stopping Violence.

Shedding A Light On Dating Violence

May 6, 2016
Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Teen reporters with VOX Teen Communications in Atlanta are turning their attention to the problem of relationship violence. The United Nations reports that children who grow up in abusive households are more likely to become perpetrators or victims of domestic violence later in life. Many types of abuse aren’t physical.  One common form of psychological abuse is known as gaslighting.

An Atlanta artist is trying to get beyond the statistics about sexual abuse. All month long, Jessica Caldas has marked an “X” on the ground in chalk every 107 seconds. That’s how often someone is sexually abused in the U.S., according to federal data. We talk with her about the message she hopes people will take away from her art. 

Wiki Commons

Although the physical and emotional terrors of domestic violence have been thoroughly documented, a more insidious threat remains for victims. Serious brain injury can occur during abuse, leaving the victim in a dire mental state. Often unrecognized in routine medical screenings following an event, traumatic brain injury poses a very real threat to an already vulnerable group.