ATLANTA – House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) announced today the appointment of State Representative Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton) to the Georgia Commission on Family Violence (GCFV).

“I am honored to be selected by Speaker Ralston to serve on the Georgia Commission on Family Violence as I am very passionate about working to end family violence,” said Rep. Ballinger. “During my time at the District Attorney’s Office as a victims advocate, I witnessed first-hand the need for policies that protect victims of domestic violence and decrease domestic violence cases. Throughout the 2014 legislative session, I worked diligently to enact legislation that will help reduce the number of family violence cases in Georgia. I look forward to continuing my efforts working with the commission to protect Georgia families, as I continue my efforts in the General Assembly to put policies in place that aid victims.”

During this year’s legislative session, Rep. Ballinger sponsored HB 911, which adds language to the existing aggravated assault statute to make strangulation a felony offense. The bill passed unanimously in both the House and Senate during this year’s legislative session, with support from the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Georgia Association of Solicitors-General, District Attorneys’ Association of Georgia, and the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. Governor Deal signed HB 911 into law on April 23, 2014. Georgia is the 38th state to adopt legislation similar to HB 911.

The GCFV is a state agency that was created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1992 to develop a comprehensive state plan for ending family violence in Georgia. The Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives is charged with appointing three state representatives who are specially qualified to serve on the commission by reason of their experience and knowledge of family violence issues. Rep. Ballinger was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former State Representative Edward Lindsey.

The GCFV works throughout the state to help create and support task forces made up of criminal justice professionals and other community members working to end domestic violence in their communities. Additionally, GCFV conducts research and provides training about domestic violence, monitors legislation and other policy impacting victims of domestic violence, certifies all of Georgia’s Family Violence Intervention Programs, and co-coordinates the statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Project.

For more information about GCFV or how you can help to end domestic violence in your community, please call 404.657.3412 or visit www.gcfv.org.

If you or someone you know is being abused, there are community and statewide resources available to you. Call 1-800-33-HAVEN (voice/TTY), the toll-free, statewide, 24-hour hotline, for a confidential place to get help or find resources.

Representative Mandi L. Ballinger represents the citizens of District 23, which includes portions of Cherokee County. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, and currently serves as the Secretary of the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight Committee. She also serves on the Information & Audits, Judiciary Non-Civil, and Transportation committees.