To aid in the international campaign against Gender-Based Violence, the World Affairs Council of St. Louis hosted seven visitors from the country of Georgia May 6-9. The delegation included two language interpreters and five individuals with careers in national and local law enforcement and NGOs, all concentrating their time in the U.S. upon Combating Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
The group arrived in Saint Louis looking to learn more about:
- the impact of legislation on Domestic Violence,
- Specialized Police and Courts roles in these topics and
- NGO activity in the legal sphere of GBV.
During their time here, they met with various governmental department heads and leaders of organizations. On Monday, May 7, the group’s meetings focused on law enforcement and legal rulings pertaining to domestic violence cases. They observed Judges presiding over their domestic abuse court cases in St. Louis County.
After meeting with several circuit judges, they finished the day meeting with a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Detective from the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART).
On May 8, the meetings focused more on policy and service aspects of domestic violence. The group met with an attorney from the Legal Advocates for Abused Women (LAAW), the only domestic violence program partnering with law enforcement and criminal court systems.
Next, they met with the Public Policy Director of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCADSV) who discussed efforts and challenges in lobbying for legislation related to victims of abuse. They concluded the day by meeting with a manager from Provident, INC. an organization providing therapy services to families and individuals suffering from abuse, as well as those who have, themselves, committed domestic violence.
The group on May 9 continued their trip to Boston, Massachusetts, where they spent two more days meeting with leaders of current local efforts to combating GBV and exploring various prevention and education programs within the city.
This visit was made possible through the State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs as well as Global Ties U.S. The World Affairs Council of St. Louis annually hosts more than 150 visitors through the program, providing an important link between local experts on important global issues and countries where deeper knowledge on those issues is important.