DV Task Force presents digital camera to CCH

Published 3:43 pm Monday, March 2, 2009

Victims of domestic violence in Crenshaw County have a dedicated group to turn to when they need a shoulder or a helping hand.

The Domestic Violence Task Force has been helping victims of the county since 2002, and it started with a small group of people that has grown into a full force of support.

“These people saw a need in this community,” said Jeannie Gibson, director of the Crenshaw County Domestic Violence Task Force.

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Since the start of the group, supporters and sponsors have grown, which is whom Gibson was recognizing on Wednesday, February 25, and acknowledging the financial support those people have provided.

“We are here to mostly say thank you to those who have been so supportive,” said Gibson.

There were 11 sponsors for the year of 2008.

Not only have there been financial supporters and sponsors throughout the community, there also have been some talented artists who have donated works of arts to the task force.

“I didn’t know we had so much talent in this community,” Gibson said at the reception.

Some hospitals do not have a digital camera to take pictures of injuries to use against the offenders, Gibson said.

So she made sure that Crenshaw Community Hospital had one as she presented a digital camera to them.

“Thankfully, most of them (the offenders) will plead guilty and having these photos helps in the long run,” said Gibson.

The photos taken with the camera can help with cases that have been made in divorce proceedings and in criminal trials as well.

Sandy Walker, a nurse practitioner at CCH, told Gibson that the camera was definitely needed.

In addition to making sure that there is solid evidence against the offenders, there is also an immense amount of emotional support.

The group offers training to law enforcement officials in dealing with victims of domestic violence, and participants get certified in the training.

The training is about how to deal with the emotional element of the victims and how to be careful with such sensitive matters.

Gibson recommends that a lot of people should participate in the task force training, not just law enforcement, but hospital personnel, school faculties, and many other community businesses as well.

The training can help spot a friend or a worker that may need help or some kind of support.

“It’s important to know how to spot the warning signs of possible domestic abuse,” said Gibson.

Even with as much support as the task force provides, victims still find it difficult to leave his or her abuser.

“It’s very hard to break the chain,” added Gibson.

However, no matter how difficult or frustrating it may be for those involved, the group is here to stay and to help anyone who needs it.

“We do thank Crenshaw County for the support…it’s what is making this so successful,” said Gibson.