Forsyth County Sheriff'S Office Victim Advocate line: 678-455-8458
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is an abuse of crime that affects victims and their families long after the crime has been committed. It takes many forms, physical mental and verbal or sexual, and it often begins with the abuser blaming the victim for his or her own feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. Victims often feel powerless to escape the violence because of the controlling nature of the abuser. But, in Forsyth County and throughout the state, there are systems and laws in place to protect the victims and place responsibility for the crime where it belongs -with the abuser.
Are you a victim of domestic violence?
Does your spouse or partner say things to embarrass, insult, or ridicule you? Isolate you or physically harm you? Blame you for the abuse or excuse the violence because of what you did or didn't do? If so, you may be a victim or have the potential of becoming one. Now there's help, but to access that help you must acknowledge the problem.
VICTIM BILL OF RIGHTS
If you want to get on with a normal life there are a few things you need to know. For example, did you know that you have a victim's bill of rights, or that you can file a temporary protection order (TPO) against your abusive spouse or partner, or that you can even be compensated for expenses incurred as a result of domestic violence?
Under the Victim's Bill of Rights, you have the right to:
Notification of each stage in the judicial process, including pre-trial hearing’s, bond, grand jury, arraignment, motion hearings, pleas of guilty, trial sentencing, and appeals.
Notification of arrest, release, possibility of release, escape, or any change in custodial status
Give opinions of release from custody or bond
A private waiting area during court proceedings
Offer input on please negotiations or sentence hearings and/or conditions
Under the Victim's Bill of Rights you also have the right to protection from intimidation and harm. Specifically, you can file a temporary protection order (TPO)against your abusive spouse or partner, which orders the abuser to refrain from harassing, injuring, maltreating, molesting, harming, stalking, or abusing you or your children. It ordered your abuser not to come with and 500 yards of you or your children, including your home, your work, and your children’s daycare or school. If the order is violated your abuser will be arrested.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR TPO IS VIOLATED
If your abuser violated if your TPO call 911 immediately! Tell the operator that you have a TPO and describe what your abuser has done to violate the order. You should also contact your attorney or legal advocate to notify them of your abuser’s offense.
CRIME VICTIM COMPENSATION
Being a victim of domestic violence not only affects you physically and emotionally, it can also be financially devastating. The Victim's Bill of Rights gives you the right to receive compensation and/or restitution from your abuser. George's Crime Victims' Compensation Program was created to assist victims, even victims of domestic violence, with crime-related expenses, including medical bills, counseling expenses, Lost wages, and funeral expenses that are not covered by insurance or other sources.
So, if you feel helpless and hopeless, don’t, there is help and there is hope. Regain control of your life and the lives of your children by contacting any of the following resources. These agencies will advise you on the actions you should take, in total confidence.
Crisis Resources of North Georgia (rape crisis line) 770-503-7273
Family Haven, Battered Women Shelter 24-hour line 770-887-1121
Family Haven Legal Advocate 678-947-3356
Family Recovery 770-887-0900
Forsyth County Department of Family and Children Services 770-781-6700
Forsyth County District Attorney 770-781-2125
Forsyth County Adult Detention Facility 770-781-2226
Forsyth County Magistrate 770-781-2211
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office 770-781-6841
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office Victim Advocate (domestic violence) 678-455-8458
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office Chaplain program 770-781-2222
Forsyth County Victim-Witness Assistance 770-205-2268