Bills pending in the current Georgia Legislature include several impacting sex trafficking, stalking, harassment and domestic violence. Georgia law covering these issues is woefully out of date in ways that cost lives annually. Is there bi-partisan support to change this session?
WCLK catches up with the Buckhead/Cascade City Chapter of The Links, Incorporated in advance of their Linking Together To Protect Georgia's Women & Children Rally on Tuesday, February 17. WCLK's Rob Maynard talks with former Juvenile Court Judge and Links Member Nina R. Hickson about these issues Saturday morning in the 7am hour during the WCLK Public Affairs Block.
Want to learn more? Here's their press release:
Georgia Chapters of The Links, Inc. to gather at the Capitol to Rally
for the protection of Georgia’s Women and Children
WHO: More than 100 members of The Links, Inc. from 15 Georgia chapters located in Albany, Athens, Atlanta Cluster (6 chapters), Augusta, Brunswick, Columbus, Fort Valley, LaGrange, Macon and Savannah will participate in Links Day at the Capitol. Georgia Legislators and Link members Senator Freddie Powell Sims (Albany) and Representative Carolyn Hughley (Columbus) will serve as co-chairs of the event.
WHAT: Link members will convene upon the state capitol to urge legislators to support the Safe Harbor/Rachel's Act, Senate Bill 8 (SB8) and Senate Resolution 7 (SR 7). Rachel's Law provision establishes a new state fund and commission to support needed services for sexually exploited children. The fund will be created through additional fines on convicted traffickers and business fees on adult entertainment establishments.
Links across the state are actively involved in the “I AM Rachel” movement which stands on healing and hope for survivors, dedicated to supporting legislation, programs and policies that bring about transformative justice for victims during the fight to end child sex trafficking. The members will also support the request for a $625,000 legislative appropriation to fund the expansion of PACE Center for Girls, an organization that serves girls at-risk of juvenile delinquency, to the state of Georgia.
Additionally, in an effort to stop violence against women, the Links will support proposed legislation addressing electronic and online harassment of women as well as the addition of criminal family violence orders to the Georgia Protective Order Registry. If passed, Georgia will be the 43rd state to update its’ harassment statutes and enable prosecutors to address these crimes. Also law enforcement will have the 24/7 access they need in order to make decisions about arrest. The Links will host a panel discussion in support of these bills and issues.
Panel Discussion (11:00am – 12:30pm) – Linking Together to Protect Georgia’s Women & Children
Panelists: (Aungelique Proctor - Reporter, Fox 5 News, Moderator)
- Dr. Yolanda Graham - Psychiatrist & Medical Director, Deveraux Georgia
- Judge Willie Lovett - Juvenile Court, Certified Child Welfare Specialist
- Judge Robert McBurney – Fulton County Superior Court
- Jennifer Swain - Interim Executive Director, YouthSpark
- Judge Daphne Walker - Executive Director, Partnership Against Domestic Violence
- Sara Totonchi - Director, Southern Center for Human Rights
Following the panel discussions, the Links will address these and other critical issues when meeting with their individual state legislators. A statewide advocacy strategy will be implemented for all Georgia chapters.
WHEN: Tuesday, February 17, 2015
WHERE: Sloppy Floyd Building, Empire Room
200 Piedmont Ave. NE, 20th Floor – West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
About the Links
The Links, Incorporated, founded in 1946, is an international organization consisting of 12,000 plus women committed to leadership, friendship and service. Our 274 chapters, throughout the United States, have positively impacted the lives of children and families globally since our inception. Links Day at the Capitol is a project of the 77 chapters in the Southern Area of The Links, Incorporated. The members of this organization hope to have an impact on their state capitols and flex the collective organizational strength and influence of their membership.