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Public Safety: Important Information About Domestic Violence Crimes

By District Attorney Shannon Wallace


It’s hard to believe that long ago some people considered domestic violence a justifiable act and felt it was not their place to get involved in a private family matter. Fortunately, those beliefs have changed in modern times, and laws now protect victims and punish abusers.

Today, many concerned citizens are aware of the signs of abusive relationships. Local law enforcement agencies have the training and experience to thoroughly investigate domestic violence. And the District Attorney’s Office has a dedicated staff to handle the prosecution of these crimes. Together, we can help victims become survivors.


When Manipulation Leads to Dangerous Acts

An abusive relationship often starts with manipulation and control that gets worse over time, increasing so gradually that victims are barely aware of how bad things have gotten.

As time passes, victims may find that abusers control most aspects of their lives including tracking movements by stalking. Many victims suffer emotional, psychological, and financial abuse, in addition to being physically assaulted and even strangled.

“Strangulation” means impeding the normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck of such person or by obstructing the nose and mouth of such person.*

Injuries left by these attacks may be invisible, even in cases when the victim nearly dies. A victim who survives one attack is likely to be strangled again, and the next time might result in death. This is why strangulation is a felony in Georgia.


Criminal Prosecution

Prosecution of these crimes can be challenging because some victims do not wish to proceed through the judicial system. Usually, the person who is hurting them is someone they love. However, without intervention, violence can escalate, and children often are involved as well.

In 2020, our dedicated Domestic Violence Unit received 214 new felony cases of intimate partner violence in Cherokee County.


Where To Get Help

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, help is available.

  1. Call 911 if in danger.
  2. Call the Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-33-HAVEN (42836).
  3. Contact the Cherokee Family Violence Center for emergency shelter and transitional housing,


The District Attorney’s Office remains proactive in our response to these crimes. In addition to our Domestic Violence Unit, we are active participants in the Cherokee County Domestic Violence Task Force, which meets monthly.

Through effective prosecution, we can help victims escape the cycle of violence and become survivors of this terrible crime.


*O.C.G.A. § 16-5-19

A Night to Honor Victims and Survivors

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. On the 26th, take time to honor victims and survivors of domestic violence at a candlelight vigil. Hosted by the Cherokee County Domestic Violence Task Force, in partnership with the Cherokee Family Violence Center, the candlelight vigil will be held at 6:00pm at the Reeves House Visual Arts Center, 734 Reeves Street, Woodstock.