I started The Community Base Domestic Violence Support Group (CBDVSG) in November 2011 out of my own need for support to heal from my past abusive relationships. I saw the same need for support for other blind and/or visually impaired men and women who are in an abusive relationship, or who have survived abuse.
In 2014 CBDVSG became a nonprofit organization, obtaining our 501(3c) status. The CBDVSG originally started our first support group meetings at the Atlanta-Fulton County Library at One Margaret Mitchell Square. After a year at the library, the meetings were moved to CVI. Currently, the group meets once a month on every second Wednesday.
The Group has started to support the many men and women who come through CVI who are not only dealing with vision lost but other issues, like financial problems and homelessness, many times due to fleeing abusive relationships. Numerous participants, who came through the doors of CVI, were homeless or living in homeless shelters with little or no support. The Support Group offers participants support, referrals and education about abuse and domestic violence. In our monthly meetings we provide participants with safety tips on how to be safe when leaving an abusive relationship and where to go for help. CBDVSG does not encourage participants to leave their abusers, but we provide them with the tools they need so if they choose to leave, they are empowered to make the right decision for their lives.
Statistics show that most individuals who are in an abusive relationship don’t know that they are being abused, so education is one of the key components of the program. We educate participants on the definition of abuse. In addition to the support group, CBDVSG brings in special guest speakers, from professions who are experts on the subjects of domestic violence from surrounding shelters, experts on legal issues from the Georgia Legal Aid, and Georgia Advocacy for People with Disabilities. These experts provide options and educate participants on the types of services in the community.
Now that CBDVSG is recognized as a nonprofit organization and registered with the state of Georgia, its goals are to continue to provide support to the group at CVI. Most importantly, the organization will continue to impress on the community and become visible as an added resource to people with disabilities in the Fulton and DeKalb county area. However, fundraising is one of the future activities to provide an accessible shelter for people with disabilities. The shelter would include staffing, amenities and safety that fit their needs while seeking permanent housing after fleeing an abusive relationship. Most shelters in the state of Georgia are not accessible to people with disabilities. CBDVSG wants to be the first in the state of Georgia.
For more information on CBDVSG contact Annie Obasih and Garnetta Jenkins at 678-489-2759 or 770-866-8418. Or you can reach us at 404-496-6368.