SECUR'US House to host domestic abuse conference

Clayton County Commissioner Gail Hambrick is joining a Clayton County shelter, which works with family violence victims, to help sponsor a free conference to raise awareness of domestic violence issues, this weekend, county officials announced on Wednesday.

The SECUR’US House Family Shelter is set to host the conference on Saturday, from 10 a.m., to 3 p.m., at the Virginia Burton Gray Recreation Center, located at 1475 East Fayetteville Road, in Riverdale.

The conference comes as SECUR’US House officials observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is designed to highlight issues related to domestic abuse.

“Unfortunately, it is not a topic that is often discussed,” said Hambrick, in a written statement. “But, in order for people to know that there is assistance available, if needed, then we must address it head on, and have an open dialogue about the matter. The conference that SECUR’US is hosting ... is a great way to help bring the issue to the forefront with professionally trained individuals.”

County spokesperson, Jamie Carlington, wrote, in an e-mail, that the Clayton County Board of Commissioners, particularly Hambrick, are acting as supporters of SECUR’US House’s upcoming conference. Carlington is also listed as a member of the SECUR’US House Board of Trustees, on the 27-year-old shelter’s web site, www.securushouse.org/.

The conference is expected to include several sessions featuring officials and experts, such as Clayton County Solicitor General Tasha Mosley, who has been an advocate for domestic abuse-related issues; Clayton County counselors, Keisha Pou and Dr. Willie R. Cameron; and former Georgia Institute of Technology Health Educator Ricky Livingston, according to a news release from the county.

The conference’s sessions will deal with a wide range of topics, such as teen violence, the causes and effects of domestic violence, legal issues, and accountability, the county’s news release states.

SECUR’US House’s mission, according to the shelter’s web site, is to “provide safe emergency shelter and comprehensive support services to all victims of family violence.”

The services are designed to help abuse victims become self-sufficient, with programs such as emergency shelter, alternative housing, a 24-hour crisis line, legal advocacy, case management, child advocacy, outreach services, crisis intervention and support groups.

Area residents can give to the shelter by donating goods ranging from toiletry items, to kitchen utensils, to money, according to the group’s web site.

“SECUR’US House has been such a staple, and lifeline, in the Southern Crescent community for well over 25 years,” said SECUR’US House Board of Trustees President Pazanta Byars, in a written statement. “Programs such as ours experience drastic financial cuts, just when we are needed the most due to the financial stress that many families are experiencing, which can often time lead to domestic violence situations.

“Therefore, donations are needed year around to continue with our assistance to families.”

Call (770) 960-7153, for more information about SECUR’US House, and its programs.