Atlanta launches domestic violence awareness campaign

Atlanta launches a new public awareness campaign aimed at reducing domestic violence within the city’s communities.(Courtesy City of Atlanta)

Atlanta is launching a new public awareness campaign aimed at reducing the number of domestic violence cases throughout the city, which officials say have been on the rise this year.

The initiative — that includes support from Atlanta icons Dallas Austin, Big Gipp, Miss Lawrence, Monyetta Shaw Carter and Rasheeda — calls upon residents to speak up if they witness violence, and encourages open dialogue on the issue.

The city’s slogan for the campaign is “Do One Thing, ATL.”

“Domestic violence is a serious issue that tears households apart and, in some cases, results in the loss of life — and it is on the rise,” Mayor Andre Dickens said in a statement. “As a community, we must pay attention and we must have these tough conversations.”

In recent months, public safety officials have consistently warned Atlanta’s elected leaders about a rise in domestic violence cases. That is despite decreases in other forms of violent crime.

Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum told Atlanta City Council members in May that the department is seeing a “discouraging trend” in increased domestic violence cases.

“(It’s) something we have not seen since I’ve been the chief of police but it certainly has been prevalent this year so far,” he said.

“Escalating disputes have always been the number one motivator for homicide in our city,” Schierbaum said. “That has changed in the first quarter of this year. We are now seeing domestic violence occurrences — individuals that are harmed by individuals they’re in a relationship with, or related to or live in the same house or apartment.”

As of May last year, only 4.7% of the city’s homicides were domestic in nature, he said. This year, 30% of Atlanta’s homicides are related to domestic violence.

But many of these disputes take place behind closed doors.

“This is where we need (community) help because we cannot be in living rooms and homes to be able to keep the peace,” the chief said.

So far in 2024, the police department reported 674 incidents of domestic violence including 12 homicides. That’s an increase of76 cases from 2023.

The Mayor’s Office of Violence Reduction, created in 2023, serves as the link between the administration and Atlanta’s neighborhoods — offering training resources and community-based intervention programs.

Director Marcus Walker said that it takes both the city’s leadership and residents to work together to address the complex issue.

“Let’s stand in unison and say, ‘No More,’” he said. “Join us in creating a safer and more peaceful city for all.”


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