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Hope Cafe: Event aims to stop domestic violence

Event aims to stop domestic violence

JONESBORO — Young women experience domestic violence at a higher rate than other age groups, although the reason is unclear.

It could be that their partners are typically in their same age group, 16 to 24, a time in life when hormones and emotions rage and sometimes take precedence over rational, reasonable, clear thinking and actions.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Clayton County Solicitor General’s Office is once again an active player in bringing attention to violence between partners. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, said Solicitor General Tasha Mosley.

Mosley has speculated that abusers act out what they see at home or on reality shows and the young victims, mostly female, confuse the violent attention with love.

Mosley and her staff of attorneys prosecute misdemeanor domestic violence cases. However, the spectre of the crime permeates the very walls of the office. Victims advocate Lisa Dawson, 48, of Jonesboro and Kenneth Sands, 40, of Macon, were killed in March 2006 on their first date by Dawson’s jealous estranged husband.

Lonnie Dawson stalked the couple and broke into Lisa Dawson’s house where he stabbed her and Sands to death. Each suffered more than 100 stab wounds. Lonnie Dawson was convicted of the crimes in 2010 and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

“She should have known what to do to protect herself, given her position, but was unable to,” Mosley said.

Mosley wants other women to have all the tools they need to avoid being the victim of the ultimate domestic violence. This year, her office is sponsoring Hope Cafe Oct. 5.

“October is an opportunity for domestic violence organizations to connect with the community through meaningful outreach and awareness-raising events,” she said. “This year, we have chosen the theme, ‘Hope.’”

The free event will be held between 3 and 5 p.m. at Charley Griswell Senior Center on Ga. Highway 138 in Jonesboro. Hope Cafe will feature singing, dancing and poetry reading.

“We want everyone to come out and experience the gift of song, dance and poetry that will create an atmosphere of hope for courage, empowerment, justice, healing and restoration for all,” Mosley said.