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Be the Change!

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in of Help, of Hope | 0 comments

Volunteer Training March 2016

Gandhi said it best, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  We have taken that theme to heart, recognizing that we needed to restructure how we have been utilizing volunteers.  With fresh starts in mind, we now have a dedicated contact for volunteers in our Outreach Coordinator, Niki Lemeshka, and we have rebooted the volunteer training program at Cherokee Family Violence Center.  We are so excited about unveiling our new ideas and ways to be involved at our first volunteer training and are happy to be accepting signups for the training.

We are calling for individuals and groups who are interested in impacting change for victims of abuse to register for the two-day training, which will be held on March 10th (from 6-9PM) and March 12th (from 10AM-4PM) at the Bridgemill Community Room.  For questions about volunteering at CFVC, or to register for the training, please contact Niki at or (770) 479-1804 x215.

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Stop Violence Against Women Day 2016

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in of Hope | 0 comments

Earlier this week, four of our Advocates joined hundreds of others at the Georgia State Capitol, to urge Legislators to strengthen Georgia’s existing Family Violence laws.  The 17th annual Stop Violence Against Women Day, drew attention to the issue of domestic violence and sexual assault in Georgia.  The event is sponsored by the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault, and Mary Kay, Inc.

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Advocates met with Senators and Representatives under the gold dome, and encouraged them to:

Support House Bill 827, to ensure that rape kits are properly handled and tested across the state.

Support Senate Bill 193, to address repeat domestic violence offenders.

Support House Bill 746 and Senate Bill 242, the Family Care Act, to allow workers to use their sick time flexibly.

Support House Bill 702, to provide sentencing relief for battered persons convicted of violent crimes against their batterers.

Support Governor Deal’s budget proposal, for additional civil legal assistance funding for victims of domestic violence with low incomes.

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Legislators were provided information about their local domestic violence programs, as well as an overview of Georgia’s sexual assault programs and domestic violence programs.  Based on the most recent service statistics of these programs, it is clear the need for services to victims is great.  From October 2013 through September 2014, Georgia’s 46 state-certified domestic violence programs, of which Cherokee Family Violence Center is one, provided services to over 30,404 victims and their children and answered nearly 61,415 crisis calls.  During that same time period, Georgia’s 22 state-funded sexual assault programs served 4,456 victims of rape and sexual assault, including 1,931 child victims, and answered over 8,819 crisis calls.

“Stop Violence Against Women Day gives us a chance to talk with legislators to ensure that the much needed funding remains stable, to ask for necessary changes to our laws to improve victim safety, and to share the incredible, life-saving work these programs do with their constituents,” says Jennifer Thomas, Executive Director of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence.  Thomas adds, “Current Georgia law should be modified to adequately hold repeat violent offenders of family violence accountable.”

Jan Christiansen, Executive Director of the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, agrees, “More and more we are hearing incidents where abusers convicted of a violent family violence felony are being rearrested and charged with misdemeanors. This gap in Georgia law is not increasing victim safety and we urge lawmakers to close this gap.”

GCADV Executive Director Jan Christiansen and GCFV Executive Director Jennifer Thomas on SVAW Day 2016

GCADV Executive Director Jan Christiansen and GCFV Executive Director Jennifer Thomas at the Capitol for SVAW Day 2016

During the day, proclamations about Stop Violence Against Women Day were read in both the Senate and the House.  The group from Cherokee County was present in the House Gallery for the proclamation, which was ready by Cherokee County’s own, Representative Mandi Ballinger, who recognized the attendees of the event.

In an exciting turn of events, the Senate voted unanimously in support of Senate Bill 193, which will strengthen prosecutors’ abilities to hold repeat domestic violence offenders accountable, by closing a gap in existing Georgia law, ensuring that a previous family violence battery conviction against the same victim or any family violence felony conviction against any household member would result in a subsequent family violence battery and would be punished as a felony.  After the vote, cheers erupted in the Capitol, which could be heard on the Senate floor.  The proposed legislation will now move on to the House for their consideration.

If you are interested in following the legislation as it moved through the Capitol this year, check out GCADV’s Public Policy Page and consider joining us for Stop Violence Against Women Day next year.

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CFVC Teambuilding: November 2014

Posted by on Nov 27, 2014 in of Hope | 0 comments

Here at CFVC we believe that the team that plays well together, works well together.  Just before Thanksgiving, CFVC Staff Members put together snack mix packets to be delivered to some of our most valued community partners.  The snacks were delivered by CFVC Staff who each chose an agency to receive the thank you gifts, as a way of showing our appreciation for all of the hard work the organizations and individuals put in to help CFVC clients and staff this year.

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Do you have an outrageous team building idea that you would like to see CFVC staffers participate in?  Tell us all about it!  Email and you may just see a picture of us doing that in the future.

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CFVC Candlelight Vigil

Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in of Help, of Hope | 0 comments

Thank you to all that came out to our annual Candlelight Vigil, which was held on October 28, 2014 at the Park at City Center in Downtown Woodstock, Georgia.  The event is held each year to honor survivors of abuse and to mourn those lost to Intimate Partner Violence in the past year.  This year, a display of chairs represented the 71 domestic violence related fatalities in the State of Georgia this year.  A chair was selected to represent each victim as a symbol of our community’s loss – each death represents a family member missed at the dinner table, a coworker missed at the office, a friend missed during book club, a child missed by their classmates.

Silhouettes displayed around the park represented Cherokee County victims who lost their lives to Domestic Violence in recent years.  The silhouettes stand as “silent witnesses” to our event each year.


The event featured survivor speakers Chelsea and Maricela and a keynote address by Representative Mandi Ballinger.  Local music group, Highbeams, provided accompanying music for the vigil.

As candles were lit around the park, the names of victims from the State of Georgia who were lost this year were read by Heather Chamblee, Kayla Fillingim and Sheri Vaughan, prosecution-based advocates that join in partnership with us in our work to provide support victims and end domestic violence.  As the names were read, a drumbeat sounded every nine seconds, which is the rate at which a woman is abused by her partner in the United States.

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The vigil was held in remembrance of the following lives:

Annie Belle Jarrett, 63

Leonard McKeehan, 63

Lynn York , 66

Sondra Williams, 56

Jessica Schanae Nowell, 24

Susan Sheriff, 45

Shevonta Hardwick, 23

Katrina West, 36

Alicia Johnson, 53

Gladys Bailey, 66

Bridgette Holt, 47

Margaret Elizabeth Lawson, 86

Fu Li, 58

Melvina Dunlap, 62

Alexis Dodson, 37

Kristy Robinson, 37

Cheyanne Nicole Hair, 16

Pamela Hardy, 43

Jesus Dominguez, 4

Thelma Vinhal, 35

Euclides Guinato-Bernardes, 30

Lakendra Elam, 27

Terrence Norman, 28

Anisa Taylor, 34

Anne Pastizzo, 66

Daniel Garcia, 13

Kayla Garcia , 11

Marion Lamonte Wiggs, 40

Tyree Jevontae Burtin, 38

Haneefah Harris, 44

Tonya Moses-Charles, 44

Bridgette Flowers, 37

Jimmie “Bo” Faye Meeks, 50

Sheray Latriest Felton, age unknown

Maria Nunez McDaniel, 29

Betty Mulbah McClain, 45

Casey Nicole Mitchell, 33

Kathleen Sheehan, 45

Jennifer Gatewood, 25

Laurie Chumley, 38

Jason Forkin, 40

Patricia Murray, 32

Rubii Cross, 34

Natty Ortiz-Ramos, 43

Anthony Tirrell Murray, 30

Rashawn Jackson, 34

Melissa Kimsey, 30

Angela Whitten, 53

Katherine Landers, 41

Lauren Smart, 34

Jessica Osborn, 28

Navy Thuy Vo, 35

John Malone, 48

Phyllis Frazier, 51

Elois Anderson, 52

Lekeisha Williams, 33

Deborah Lindley, 45

Marisol Rodriguez, 32

Brandie Lawson, 27

Sharonda James, 40

Sharon Wilkins, 55

Rosella “Rose” Mitchell, 32

Dylan Conner, 6 months old

Destiny Clarke, 20

Kara Miller, 29

Paxton Miller, 21 months

Chheng Voight, 37

Treasey Wingo, 47

Jessica Arrendale, 33

Fran Taylor, 63

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Thanks to each of our speakers, CFVC Staff, Interns, Board and Volunteers, Beth Siegel, Target of Canton, the Cherokee County Domestic Violence Task Force, Fast Signs of Canton, Israel Holcomb, Highbeams, A Dove’s Nest, Woodstock High School Interact Club, Cherokee High School Art Department Woodstock Police Department Police Explorers, and the City of Woodstock Parks and Recreation Department for their assistance with making the vigil a successful event this year.

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