The Montgomery County Task Force on Domestic Violence, the One Place Family Justice Center and the Family Sunshine Center held a Proclamation Signing for Domestic Violence Awareness Month earlier today.
Mayor Todd Strange, along with several other elected city and county officials were on hand to sign the proclamation.
“We can’t do it alone,” Strange said. “All the work that’s being done here [at the One Place Family Justice Center] really warms your heart when people take something that’s really bad and turn it into something that is really good.”
The proclamation not only declared October Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but included the much more meaningful declaration that freedom from domestic violence is a fundamental human right.
Montgomery is only the fifth community in the United States to make this declaration, according to Jeff Baker, the director of Faulkner Law’s Family Violence Clinic and co-chair of the Montgomery County Task Force on Domestic Violence.
“This is something that affects every community and every family. One third of American women will be victims of sexual assault or physical assault by a family member or partner during their lives. That is epidemic,” Baker said.
The One Place Family Justice Center works through its partners to provide services to victims of abuse, including medical assistance, information on shelters and sexual assault services, or the opportunity to meet with an advocate, police officer or prosecutor.
Faulkner Law’s Family Violence Clinic is one of One Place Family Justice Center’s founding, internal partnerships, Baker believes partnerships like these can help confront the epidemic of family violence.
“Montgomery’s coordinated community response is critical to providing comprehensive services to victims of domestic abuse. We work to empower and dignify people and to seek justice in our families.”
This proclamation is a small step toward empowering those victims.
“It is something that we can solve. Today we join leaders, not only in the US, but around the world, in declaring that this is a human rights concern,” Baker said.