Domestic violence remains a problem in Southwest Georgia

Abuse typically worsens

A new report on domestic violence was unveiled in Atlanta. and it shows the problem is worse than ever.

Silke Deeley says the information contained in the 2010 Georgia Domestic Violence Fatality Review is just more of the same disturbing trend. "Those numbers aren't significantly different than they have been over the last several years," she said.

According to the report, there were 130 deaths related to domestic violence in Georgia last year and 962 deaths over the last eight years."The thought process is that 'whatever's going on in my life, I don't want to leave my home, I don't want to go into a shelter," said Deeley.

Deeley is Executive Director of Liberty House, an organization providing counseling, financial assistance, and emergency shelter to victims of domestic abuse. She says domestic violence will continue as long as the burdens of protection and prevention fall on the victim. "The onus should be on communities, on law enforcement, on laws to keep women safe and to keep children safe and to keep them in their homes," she added.

Once abuse begins, it rarely ends and almost always gets worse.

"I deal with a lot of women that come to us over and over again because of the fact that they went back to him over and over again because he told them he would change," said Stacy Haire, outreach advocate for Liberty House.

Liberty House keeps its exact location confidential to protect the privacy and safety of the women using the shelter. But physically surviving abuse is often a secondary concern. Experts say the main worry on the minds of many victims is how they will survive financially.

"If the man in their life is the one controlling everything, then there doesn't seem to be much in the ways of options for her," said Deeley. "Women are willing to tolerate a lot of things in order to make sure their children are safe and that they have a roof over their head."

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