The Georgetown School has been friends with the Family Justice Center for a long time. Every year before our annual Oyster Roast, Kingfishers help set up for Taste of Georgetown, the Family Justice Center’ s main fundraiser.
Kim Parsons, executive director of the FJC, stopped by at Open Forum to tell us about how important the work they do is. FJC is a non-profit founded in 2006 that was created to address the alarming amount of domestic violence occurring in our area. Horry County is number one in the state for violence against women and Georgetown County has similar statistics. FJC has given victims of domestic violence in Georgetown a place to go where they know they can receive the help they need.
Kim told us that FJC offers multiple services to help victims, such as counseling, court advocacy, and orders of protection. Despite the resources that organizations like this can provide, only about 20% of victims of abuse seek help, she said. It can be difficult to leave an abusive partner and to seek help, not only emotionally but also physically.
“Phones can be used to track people,” Kim told us. Tracking leaves victims at the mercy of their abuser, unable to seek help without their abuser knowing. We all need to realize how bad actors can use information from our phones.
“Red flags in relationships can be difficult to spot at first,” Kim also said. In the beginning, behavior that may seem doting or loving can quickly turn obsessive or harmful. She warned us against partners who call or text obsessively, engage in name-calling, dictate what to wear, refuse to allow contact with family and friends, make threats against you or themselves, or act violently.
At the end of her talk, Kim gave all of the students who had volunteered for Taste of Georgetown a t-shirt to thank them for their help.