Last week Safe Haven held their annual Blueming for Prevention awareness event to bring attention to child abuse in Bulloch County.

Safe Haven is a program of Citizens Against Violence, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ending the cycle of family violence through prevention and education programs.

Speakers at the event included:

  • Kim Billings, Safe Haven, Legal Services and Public Relations Director
  • Tami Davis, Safe Haven, Executive Director
  • Donald Chavers, Agape Worship Center
  • Sergeant Jennifer Strosnider, Statesboro Police Department and Safe Haven Board Member
  • Amanda Clemments, KSBB
  • Lora Cooper, Prevent Child Abuse
  • Chief Mike Broadhead, Statesboro Police Department
  • Catherine Findley, Bulloch County State Court
  • Judge Joseph Cushner, Bulloch County State Court
  • Investigator Pre Cone, Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kristen Kramer, CASA
  • Lily Gray, Teal House
  • Shelley Stringer, Statesboro Exchange Club

Video of the entire event:

Domestic Violence and Children

  • There are more children, by far, in domestic violence shelters than adults/parents.
    • Experiencing childhood domestic violence can rewire a child’s brain, encoding negative beliefs that can last into adulthood if left unchallenged.
    • Witnessing domestic violence can cause a regression in developmental milestones, and often children feel responsible for the violence.
    • Children can also begin taking on the attitudes of the perpetrator due to the child wanting to model the behavior.
    • Nationally, 15.5 million children witness domestic violence at least once in that past year.
    •   In a recent US Department of Juvenile Justice and CDC study of 4,549 children, 27 %children aged 14 to 17 reported that they had been exposed to DV in their lifetimes.
    • Children in homes in which violence has occurred were 9X more likely to verbally or physically intervene in parental conflicts than comparison children from homes in no violence occurred.
    • More young children appear to be present during domestic violence incidents than older children (especially 0 to 5 years olds).
    • In Bulloch County (from 2013-2017, children were in involved in 18.8% of FV incidents and 34.4% of incidents there was a child present.  As someone that has worked with survivors of domestic violence for almost 20 years, I believe this number to be much higher)

Impact on Victims

  • Sleeplessness, Depression, Anxiety, Problems at work or school,
  • Forced to change jobs or school, Forced to move, Forced to rearranged or cancel activities & social events, truancy, new generations of family violence, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, addictions, etc.

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...