Cobb County will receive the necessary funds to launch a support center for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.
The Cobb District Attorney’s Office and its partners have been awarded a grant worth up $400,000 over four years to create a “Family Justice Center,” Cobb District Attorney Joyette Holmes announced.
“It is exciting that Cobb County has such great collaboration and support among victim-service providers, law enforcement and county government that we were successful in seeking out this opportunity,” Holmes said.
Tracey Atwater, executive director of LiveSAFE Resources, said this new center will open doors for victims to receive services and treatment.
“Too often, those seeking help after victimization must visit various service providers and agencies in order to get the assistance they need,” Atwater said. “This incredible new project will allow us and our community partners to better serve those in need by creating a collocated space, reducing barriers for victims seeking help.”
Holmes also discussed the importance of having needed services in one location.
“The partnering agencies are committed to the establishment of a Family Justice Center for our community so that we can serve the victim where they are rather than the victim having to seek services where the agencies are located,” she said. “This streamlining of services will provide a safe place for victims and survivors to go to receive wrap-around and holistic services. I am devoted to leading in the planning, implementation, and ongoing partnership to build a Family Justice Center for Cobb County.”
The federal grant will be delivered through Georgia’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Federal funding from the Victims of Crime Act will support the grant.
The District Attorney’s office will work with partner agencies such as LiveSAFE Resources, SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center, Cobb County government, the Cobb Sheriff’s Office and Police Department, the Solicitor General’s Office and Legal Aid of Cobb County.
In addition to Cobb, Waycross and Macon received grants to create similar family justice centers. Another center exists in Savannah. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, the centers help to intervene in and prevent domestic violence.
“Documented and published outcomes include reduced homicides, increased victim safety and empowerment, reduced fear and anxiety for victims and their children, and reduced recantation by victims receiving this level of support,” the Cobb District Attorney’s Office said.
The Center for Family Resources, Cobb Collaborative, the Division of Family and Children’s Services, Kennesaw State University’s WellStar College of Health and Human Services, the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia and the police departments of Acworth, Kennesaw and Smyrna supported Cobb’s application for a family justice center.
Cobb leaders will schedule a virtual community meeting for early December to discuss the center.