Domestic violence is on the rise in Forsyth County, an unsettling trend that organizers of three events Friday hope to raise awareness of.
Leslie Dinkins, a representative of the Forsyth County Domestic Violence Task Force, said local programs this year have served more than 2,500 children, adult and senior victims of domestic violence.
In addition, there have been three deaths and one suicide related to domestic violence this year in Forsyth County.
In 2006, there were more than 1,000 cases of domestic violence in the county and there were more than 1,500 in 2007, Dinkins said.
"So I don't know if it's increasing because our population is increasing, if it's increasing because domestic violence itself is increasing or because it's being reported more due to our outreach efforts," she said. "But it's probably a combination of all three."
The local observance, part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, begins at the Forsyth County Courthouse, where from noon to 1 p.m. there will be barbecue and informational speakers.
Dinkins said May Johnston from the Forsyth County Senior Center will speak about elder abuse. She said Forsyth County
Sheriff's Sgt. Allan Frampton also will give a presentation.
At 6 p.m., they will gather for a candlelight vigil awareness walk, which will take them from the courthouse to Lakeland Plaza. The main event is scheduled to start about 7:30 p.m. at the shopping center.
Guest speakers include: Melissa Carter from Q100 radio station; Aurea McGarry, host, producer and director of "Live Your Legacy;" and Johnetta McSwain-Clay of breaking-the-cycle.com, a Web site for abuse victims.
Along with their presentations, there will be music, food, drink, face painting and a raffle.