With the month of October designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Frank Balles, Republican candidate for Atlantic County Sheriff, will participate in launching the observance by joining the Atlantic County Women?s Center?s ?Walk Against Violence? event Friday on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.
Under the banner ?Don?t Just Take A Stand Against Domestic Violence ? Walk,? the 5K walk or run is slated to begin at 9 a.m. in front of Boardwalk Hall. It will proceed north to Vermont Avenue and return to the finish line at the Hall. Registration will take place from 8 to 9 a.m. The fee to participate is $25 per person and $20 for students.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the ACWC and the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women.
Balles, a captain in the Pleasantville Police Department, said, as Sheriff, he will create a volunteer county wide domestic violence response team whose members would be trained by the ACWC to become certified crisis counselors.
?These volunteers, once certified, respond to domestic violence incidents to assure that quality and appropriate support services are provided to the victim,? Balles said. ?These volunteers will assist victims in filing complaints and obtaining a temporary restraining order, locating temporary safe housing, and provide educational services concerning domestic violence issues and its consequences.?
Balles also called for greater involvement by the Sheriff?s Department in assuring that temporary restraining orders, once issued by a judge, are served in a timely manner.
?There should be no delay between the issuance of the order and providing protection for the victim,? Balles said. ?As Sheriff, I will make it a high priority to carry out the court?s orders as rapidly as possible so victims of violence are not left to fend for themselves and worry about being protected.?
Balles said he would also require the timely serving of warrants on violators of child support orders to make certain the appropriate level of financial assistance is readily available to those in need.
?Punishing children, many of whom have already suffered by living in a violent domestic situation, is unacceptable,? Balles said. ?They should not be subject to economic hardship because of a failure to pay for their support or a failure to enforce the order in a timely fashion.?