In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the community is invited to two events at the Chattanooga Family Justice Center (FJC) at 5705 Uptain Road. National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is observed locally to bring awareness to the impact of domestic violence in the community on families, children, and the economy.
Five domestic violence homicides were reported in Chattanooga last year, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Tennessee has the sixth-highest domestic violence homicide rate in the United States. Additionally, TBI reported 2,853 domestic violence incidents in 2014 in Hamilton County. The FJC and its onsite partners want the community to know that domestic violence is serious and even deadly without intervention.
“Since the Chattanooga FJC opened in 2014, we have been working together with our onsite partner organizations to show that our community is committed to stopping the violence,” said Valerie Radu, Executive Director of the Chattanooga FJC.
“Domestic violence has an enormous economic impact on our city and state. Our center offers a comprehensive resource center of free services for victims of domestic violence. This last year we provided services to 800 families. Our fastest growing service is the free, individual, family, and group counseling offered through our Center for Living & Thriving, a partnership with the School of Social Work at Southern Adventist University.”
On Thursday, Oct. 27, the center will hold its first regional Family Justice Center Conference from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The theme, Together We Can Do More, focuses on the collective impact of organizations working together. It’s designed for professionals, faith leaders, and community members.
Conference topics include bystander intervention, human trafficking, victim-centered approaches for law enforcement, domestic violence and sexual assault; mental health considerations in victims and offenders; link between animal abuse, domestic violence and child abuse; elder justice and intimate partner violence; and best clinical practice and children exposed to violence: screening and referral strategies. Continuing education approval is in process for nurses, social workers, and counselors.
This conference is free, but registration is required. A boxed lunch is included. Registration is online at the FJC website: http://connect.chattanooga.gov/fjc/. For questions call the FJC at (423)643-7600.
The second event happening at the FJC in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month is Together We Are Resilient Luncheon on Oct. 30, 2017, from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. One in four women is a survivor of intimate partner violence. This event recognizes the collective resilience of women in the Chattanooga community who are survivors, caregivers, pioneers, and changemakers. Their stories will inspire and encourage. This event concludes National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Reservations are requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone with questions, should call (423) 643-7600.
It doesn’t have to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month for a family or individual to seek help - the FJC encourages the community to use the 24-hour hotline any time at 423-755-2700. The hotline is maintained by the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults to access safe shelter for victims of domestic violence.
In addition, the statewide Child Abuse Hotline is 1-877-237-0004, and the statewide Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-855-55-TNHTH. The FJC is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with extended evening hours until 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month.
The community is invited to reach out to the FJC to request presentations, trainings, or other types of participation. Inviting speakers with expertise to church, civic, and business functions is essential to increasing awareness and understanding.