Blue Ridge, Ga – Fannin County Board of Commissioners presented a proclamation recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness month to the North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network (NGMCN).
The proclamation, read by Chairman Stan Helton, “encourages all citizens to make [April] the beginning of the end of sexual violence.”
By naming April Sexual Assault Awareness month, the Commissioners helped to spotlight the efforts of NGMCN and spread its message to the community.
The organization serves survivors of domestic violence across Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens Counties and educates the community by focusing on four major areas.
- Sexual Assault. Through NGMCN victims of sexual assault are provided counseling and support services to help navigate them through a very difficult time.
- Domestic Violence. While NGMCN offers the counseling and services to victims of domestic violence as it does to victims of sexual assault, it also offers shelter to house these victims and their children.
- Legal Advocacy. NGMCN has a trained staff that will help victims navigate the sometimes daunting legal system.
- Education Awareness. NGMCN helps to spread the word of domestic and sexual violence through community outreach. This includes working hand in hand with law enforcement, hospitals, and different organizations that provide services to these victims.
NGMCN Treasurer Howard Sloan had this to say about the work they do for the community,
“Unfortunately, we cannot publicize our works due to the fact that we take care of women, children, and men who are victims of domestic violence. We can’t send pictures to the press, when we relocate somebody to a new apartment or when we put somebody on a bus to go two or three states away to be with family.”
In 2018, NGMCN housed 129 residents at their shelter. This accounted for 3,173 bed/nights (a measure of occupancy for one person assigned to one bed for one night). Residents of the shelter were also provided with well over 10,000 units of service. So far in 2019, the charity has already provided 380 bed/nights, 87 hotline calls, and 600 units of service. When speaking of individuals who help make NGMCN possible, Sloan said, “I want to really commend these ladies on the fine work they do.”
They hope by promoting education and awareness in these areas that eventually the cycle of abuse will come to an end.
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Board of Commissioners marked April as Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness month by signing two proclamations to help bring public consciousness to these very serious causes.
The first proclamation to be signed was presented by Fannin County’s Division of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS).
April has been designated Child Abuse Prevention month since 1984, when then President Ronald Reagan first nationally recognized the need to bring public awareness to this issue.
By signing Proclamation 5172, Reagan officially acknowledged the first Child Abuse Prevention month. Reagan’s Proclamation states “Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of April 1984, as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. We must find a way to leave our future generations a priceless legacy — the confidence and trust resulting from a secure childhood.”
DFCS Advocacy and Training Manager Gina Bennett spoke of the need of this awareness in our area, “Last year there were 63 children that entered foster care in Fannin County due to abuse.”
During the month of April communities are encouraged to provide education, support, and awareness through resources and strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect.
The second proclamation to be signed was presented by the North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network (NGMCN) to make April Sexual Assualt Awareness Month.
A movement that started in the 1970s with activists forming organizations to address the issue of sexual assault, the month of April was not nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness month until 2001.
NGMCN Interim Executive Director Elaine Cannon spoke of the hopes in having this proclamation signed: “To make individuals in the county and in all of our communities aware of what a problem sexual assault is. In not just our county, but all counties.”
Cannon spoke of the stigma that victims of sexual assault still face today, and that that stigma is often the cause of victims not coming forward.
“What we want to do is encourage education in the communities, and bring this to the forefront,” Cannon said explaining NGMCN’s mission, “that people can be aware that there is a place victims can go, and that we can provide them with services that would help their victimization be a little less traumatic.”
If you are a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence you are encouraged to reach out to North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network. You can reach them by phone at 706-632-8400.
Similarly, if you are a victim of child abuse or know of a child currently in an abusive situation, the Department of Family and Children’s Services asks you to please reach out. You can call Fannin County DFCS at 706-632-2296 or report incidents of abuse to the local Fannin County Sheriff’s Office 706-632-2044.
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4/3/17 – Pickens County, 11:00a.m.
Jasper, Georgia 301434/4/17 – Gilmer County, 10:00a.m.
1 Broad Street, Suite 106
Ellijay, GA 30540
4/5/17 – Fannin County, 10:00a.m.
Fannin County Georgia Government
400 West Main St., Suite 100
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
Prevention Education & Outreach Coordinator
North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network, Inc.