S.A.F.E. says abusers need victims, more so than vice versa


HIAWASSEE, Ga. – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and  S.A.F.E., a local organization that assists victims, explained why the cycle of abuse often continues. The Office of Violence Against Women defines domestic violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner,” although men can become victims of domestic abuse as well.

“The truth is that the abuser needs the victim more than the victim needs the abuser,” a spokesperson for S.A.F.E. explained. “If the victim does leave, the abuser will say horrible things about the victim to others. Yet if the victim agreed to return, the abuser would take him/her back in a second. Domestic violence can be complex and may not make sense to observers, but blaming the victim is not the answer. If we did not haveabusers, we would not have victims. Abusers abuse because they can and the focus should be on their behavior and not on the victim. The victims benefit from developing a safety plan, support, counseling, and resources. The abuser needs consistent consequences, to stop the violent behavior and to take responsibilty for his/her actions.”

Common abusive tactics include physical violence, sexual violence, isolation, economic abuse, emotional
abuse, intimidation, reproductive coercion, and stalking.SAFE

The North Enota Domestic Violence Task Force warns that leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous, and encourages victims to contact S.A.F.E. at 706-379-3000 to develop a safety plan.

In 2018, there were 45,715 crisis calls to Georgia’s certified domestic violence agencies.

According to the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, approximately 2,035 Georgia citizens lost their lives due to domestic violence between 2003 through 2018. Georgia was recently ranked 25th in the nation for its rate of men killing women. Firearms were the cause of death in 72% of recorded domestic violence fatalities in 2018.

In 37% of the cases studied by Georgia’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Project, children witnessed the
domestic violence homicide. In 2017, law enforcement agencies reported response to 61,824 family violence incidents in Georgia. Additionally in 2017, there were 26,327 protective and stalking orders issued in the state.

Commissioner Bradshaw signs Sexual Assault Awareness Proclamation

Towns County SAFE

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw signed a proclamation Wednesday, April 10, declaring April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. On hand for the signing were Molly Cousin, Paula Gregory, and Rosemary Flynn, who serve as members of the advocacy organization “S.A.F.E.”

S.A.F.E. is an acronym for Support in Abusive Family Emergencies. S.A.F.E. is a domestic violence and sexual assault program with a designated service area in Towns County and Union County.SAFE Towns County

Executive Director Molly Cousin told FYN that approximately 60 sexual assault victims benefited from the local program in 2018. Between outreach and crisis calls, an estimated total of 360 clients were assisted by the non-profit last year alone.

“S.A.F.E. began in June of 1989 with the formation of a task force,” the organization’s website explains. “After an informal assessment to determine the need for services for victims of family violence, the task force decided to pursue establishing a family violence program. After additional research, volunteers were trained and began coverage of a 24-hour crisis intervention line and a support group for women. Safe homes were used for shelter. A Board of Directors was chosen in October, 1989, and the process of incorporation was started.

“S.A.F.E.’s Sexual Assault Program provides a 24-hour Crisis Hotline for victims of sexual assault and rape.  The Crisis Hotline is staffed by advocates who have been trained to work with victims of sexual assault and rape.”

If you, or someone you know, is in need of services, encourage them to contact S.A.F.E. at 706-379-3000.

Additional information can be found on the S.A.F.E. website.

Domestic violence leads to drug warrant arrest

Arrest Reports, News

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff’s Office investigators and deputies responded to a residence Thursday, March 28, on Duncan Road in Young Harris in reference to a reported domestic incident involving  physical injuries.

Derick Canup

Derick Randal Canup

Upon the officers’ arrival, a female victim was located at the residence with visible physical injuries. The victim refused medical treatment at the time, although the victim agreed to later allow a family member take her for medical treatment.

Upon further investigation into the incident, officers located the suspect at the residence. Deputies arrested Derick Randal Canup, 28, of Hayesville, NC, on one count of battery under the Family Violence Act (FVA). Canup was arrested at the scene without incident.

Additionally, Canup was arrested on an active warrant out of Clay County, NC, for failure to appear in court on possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia charges.

Canup was released on bond from Towns County Detention Center on the battery FVA charge and turned over to Clay County authorities on the arrest order. 

The battery FVA charge will be forwarded to the Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Canup is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Juvenile Arrested for Attempted Murder

News, Press Release
Towns County Hatchet

Hiawassee, GA – Towns County Sheriff’s Investigators arrested a 16-year-old male juvenile on September 20th, charging him with one count of Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder, one count of Aggravated Assault, and one count of Aggravated Battery.

The charges came after deputies responded to an assault call at a residence on Cassie Lane in Hiawassee. When deputies and EMS arrived on scene, a 48-year-old male was discovered at the home severely injured. The victim was airlifted from the scene to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where he was admitted to the hospital. A lookout was issued for a juvenile suspect believed to have been involved in the assault. A Clayton Police Officer on his way to work heard the lookout and spotted the juvenile on Highway 76 near the Towns County/ Rabun County line. The juvenile was taken in custody without incident.

Upon completing an investigation into the reported incident, Towns County Sheriff’s investigators arrested the 16-year-old juvenile suspected of attacking his father with a hatchet.

Sheriff Clinton would like to commend all those responding to the incident for their quick response, cooperation, and apprehension of the juvenile suspect. Towns County Sheriff’s Deputies, Hiawassee Police, Clayton Police, Towns County EMS, and Towns County Fire and Rescue personnel all responded.

The case will be forwarded to the Enotah District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.



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DEVELOPING: Report of Overnight Domestic involving Double Shooting

Towns county Shooting

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – FYN received a credible report regarding an overnight domestic violence incident, involving a double shooting, in Towns County.

The extent of injuries are unknown at this time, although fatalities were not reported.

FYN is awaiting details from the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.



Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet, attracting more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, and Murray counties, as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week, and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, dial 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com


National Stalking Awareness Month: Tips for Victims


HIAWASSEE, Ga. – January is National Stalking Awareness month, a serious issue which effects countless men and women at any given time. In the days of digital technology and social media, stalking has become more prevalent in recent decades.Robin H. Webb

“It is difficult, but the best reaction is not to react, but collect evidence,” North Enotah Domestic Violence Task Force instructs, “Screen shots, copies of posts, texts, and other information should be preserved.”

Stalking protection orders exist in Georgia and may be an option for victims if a pattern of stalking occurs, along with fear for that of yourself or family.

Stalking is unpredictable and dangerous. No two stalking situations are alike. There are no guarantees that what works for one person will work for another, yet there are steps to increase your safety.

The National Center for Victims of Crime offers the following tips:

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
  • Trust your instincts. Don’t downplay the danger. If you feel you are unsafe, you probably are.
  • Take threats seriously. Danger generally is higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship.
  • Contact a crisis hotline, victim services agency, or a domestic violence or rape crisis program. They can help you devise a safety plan, give you information about local laws, weigh options such as seeking a protection order, and refer you to other services.
  • Develop a safety plan, including things like changing your routine, arranging a place to stay, and having a friend or relative go places with you. Also, decide in advance what to do if the stalker shows up at your home, work, school, or somewhere else. Tell people how they can help you. Click here to learn more about safety plans.
  • Don’t communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you.
  • Keep evidence of the stalking. When the stalker follows you or contacts you, write down the time, date, and place. Keep emails, text messages, phone messages, letters, or notes. Photograph anything of yours the stalker damages and any injuries the stalker causes. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw. Click here to download a stalking incident and behavior log.
  • Contact the police. Every state has stalking laws. The stalker may also have broken other laws by doing things like assaulting you or stealing or destroying your property.
  • Consider getting a court order that tells the stalker to stay away from you.
  • Tell family, friends, roommates, and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support.
  • Tell security staff at your job or school. Ask them to help watch out for your safety.

The National Center for Victims of Crime reports that approximately 15% of women and 6% of men will experience stalking in their lifetime. (more…)

BREAKING: Hatchet Attack Leads to Arrest of Teenager

Hatchet Attack Towns County

Hiawassee, GA –  Towns County Sheriff’s Office, Fire and Rescue, and EMS responded to a call on Cassie Lane during the afternoon hours of Wednesday, September 20,  concerning a report of domestic violence.

Upon arrival, first responders found a man bleeding from a hatchet attack, allegedly committed by his teenage son. The unidentified male sustained multiple injuries as the result of several blows, including at least one to the head.

The alleged suspect fled the scene before deputies arrived. He was located and taken into custody shortly thereafter.

The alleged victim was transported by Air Life for medical treatment. His current condition is unknown at this time.

Fetch Your News is awaiting an official statement from the Towns County Sheriff’s Office and will provide further information as it becomes available.

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