AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Augusta Judicial Circuit’s Family Violence Task Force is working to improve communication among different local agencies and nonprofits when it comes to domestic violence cases.
“There’s overlap when there’s a domestic violence case and children are involved, so we want to make sure those cases are handled the proper way,” said Kari Viola-Brooke, the Executive Director of Children Enrichment Inc.
Child Enrichment has a goal to get a domestic violence protocol for children up and running with the circuit.
“When we’re looking at adverse childhood experiences, we know that domestic violence is a huge factor for that,” Viola-Brooke said. “So it’s really important besides just providing that support and services to the actual victims themselves, we’re providing resources and healing through counseling to kids.”
Viola-Brooke said working with other organizations in the task force is crucial to them providing children in these situations the most support possible.
“As professionals that work in this field, the more we can collaborate together and get out of our little silos and all work together for the best interest of these victims and children,” she said.
And with school getting out soon, the number of domestic violence cases are expected to rise, so Viola-Brooke believes this task force is more important now than ever.
“We end up not seeing a huge number of cases during that time, because kids aren’t in school and they don’t have access to mandated reporters, but August is always a busy, busy time for us,” she said. “Kids going back to school, and talking about ‘these are the things that happened over the summer.’”
Child Enrichment is always accepting donations and volunteers, and wants to do everything in its power to address and reduce domestic violence cases in the CSRA.
“I’m excited that the D.V. task force is getting started,” Viola-Brooke said. “I can’t wait for the protocol to be finalized, where people will have that toolkit for ‘okay, if I’m involved in a D.V. case, these are the steps I need to take.”
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