Letter: Please help stop family violence

To the editor:

For the past two years, I have had the honor of serving as the chairwoman of the Rockdale County Task Force Against Family Violence. The Task Force has made tremendous strides in building a basis of services and public awareness for victims of family violence. Not only has a foundation been established in term of procedures, but many agencies have begun to work in a unified effort.

For example, the members of the criminal justice system have corroborated to form a new protocol for responding to victims, investigating the crimes and more importantly, for holding the abuser accountable in the courts. This committee is not only writing the protocol, but is planning on utilizing this document to review the manner in which future cases are handled. The criminal justice system is not alone. All areas of our community, including, but not limited to, our city and county government, the Board of Education, the school system, mental health practitioners, faith-based organizations, the business community and members of the health care arena are getting involved.

However, the main reason for this letter is to ask for your help, as citizens, to stop the violence occurring in the homes of our community. The strides made by the task force are in vain if they are not utilized and embraced by the community. More troubling than the number of individuals who are hurt by family violence or the number of victims whom do not ask for help, is the number of citizens or bystanders who know this violence is occurring and simply do nothing about it.

Take a moment to look at the purple ribbons hanging in Conyers and read the information attached. Visit our Web site at rockdaleaware.com or feel free to call my office at 770-929-4020 if you would like to participate on our task force. Help us break the silence and stop family violence.

Nancy N. Bills

Judge, State Court of Rockdale County