Promise Place gets plug from state

The Promise Place domestic violence refuge program that helps abused woman and their children now has another way of getting the word out to victims who need help.

A public/private partnership is paying for two billboards with organization information in Spalding County. The organization has no outdoor advertising in Fayette County, but it has plenty of people to serve. Promise Place served 900 victims of domestic violence last year in Fayette County.

Promise Place Executive Director Vanessa Mottley at the organization’s Fayetteville office said Monday the billboards will likely result in an increase in the number of calls to the Promise Place hotline. She said family and friends are the target of the billboard project since they are often the first people the victim makes contact with regarding the abuse.

“We are anticipating more calls from family and friends asking us how they can best support their loved one who is going through domestic violence,” Mottley said.

Mottley said Promise Place is also excited about the increased exposure because people in the community will be better informed about a place to go for help.

“We also hope that individuals and businesses in the area take more of an interest in supporting Promise Place in our efforts to prevent domestic violence whether financially, through donations of supplies and products or volunteering their time,” Mottley said.

Georgia Commission on Family Violence (GCFV) executive director Dr. Karen Rambo said the billboard campaign is a result of the partnership between GCFV, the Outdoor Advertising Association of Georgia and five middle Georgia domestic violence agencies, has recently launched a pilot public awareness campaign. The project aims to inform friends and family of those experiencing domestic violence about available support and resources, she said.

“The research tells us that victims’ family members, friends and coworkers generally have more information than law enforcement or courts do about the nature and extent of the abuse in the relationship. They want desperately to help their loved ones, but they often lack good information about how to do so,” Rambo said. “We hope that these billboards will help by encouraging everyone to call the statewide hotline to learn how best to support their friends and loves ones as they try to get safe.”

Promise Place opened its doors in 1987. Last year Promise Place provided services to 1,701 victims of domestic violence, with almost 900 of those victims in Fayette County alone. Spalding County was second with 546 victims, followed by Upson County with 194 and Pike County with 61.

Promise Place is a state-certified domestic violence agency which serves the Griffin Judicial Circuit. Services offered include weekly support groups, emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis hotline, safety planning, crisis intervention and a teen dating violence prevention program. Anyone calling the state-wide 24-hour hotline from the Griffin Judicial circuit will be immediately directed to Promise Place.

More than anything, Promise Place is in need of financial contributions to support the operations of the program in providing a safe haven for victims of domestic violence and their children, Mottley said.

Promise Place is also in need of volunteers for two key areas: answering the crisis hotline and providing childcare at the shelter. The shelter is always in need of paper goods, non-perishable food and cleaning supplies, she said. For a complete list of shelter needs visit www.promiseplace.org.

Mottley said Promise Place is continuing to work on renovating a transitional house that will be used to provide housing for a victim of domestic violence for up to 18 months. This will allow her more time to work and save up her money to have a better chance at becoming self-sufficient while still taking part in Promise Place support groups and counseling, Mottley said.