Fayette church leaders are briefed on domestic violence

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A March 24 event at the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce had 40 leaders of the Fayette faith community on hand for a community training session on domestic violence.

“The event was an effort to equip faith leaders with the tools they need to respond to domestic violence,” said Promise Place domestic violence center CEO Vanessa Wilkins.

Wilkins said church personnel are often the first to be contacted about issues of domestic violence. Quoting the Georgia Fatality Review, Wilkins said 32 percent of those who lost their lives to domestic violence in 2015 were connected to a church while 22 percent of the perpetrators were connected to a church.

“We wanted them to be educated on the topic,” said Wilkins. “I think it was successful. Many in the faith group wanted facilitator Mike Mertz to come to their church to speak with church leaders and the congregation.”

Mertz, a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) trainer and consultant to the U.S. Air Force and the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, spoke on the dynamics of domestic violence and community resources available to churches.

For more information on how faith groups can help domestic violence victims contact Vanessa Wilkins at 770-461-3839.

The event was sponsored by the Griffin Judicial Circuit Domestic Violence Task Force.