Several members of the Women's Council were named last winter to the Shelby County Unified Family Court Task Force which met 13 times from December through March. They included board president Sonja White of Memphis Area Legal Services, Family Safety Center director Connie Ross, Circuit Court Judge Kay Robilio, Memphis Child Advocacy Center director Nancy Williams, Partners for the Homeless director Pat Morgan and Women's Council executive director Deborah Clubb. Women's Council member Suzanne Darnell monitored the task force meetings.
At request of task force chairperson Circuit Court Judge Rita Stotts, Deborah wrote the group's final report for submission which offered nine recommendations to the county commission. They sought to address the fragmented court system which can inadvertently prevent domestic violence victims and other troubled families from pursuing justice, safety and services they need.
One of those recommendations was for a concise reference of local domestic violence resources that judges and their staffs can use to assist domestic violence victims. The Women's Council and our partners in Erase Domestic Crime created that new resource and are distributing it to all court divisions and sitting judges.
NEXT: Sonja, Connie and Deborah are part of a Shelby County action team that is preparing legislation asking the Tennessee legislature to establish a pilot court to operate a Unified Family Court in Shelby County.
YOUR PART: Become a proponent of a Unified Family Court and be ready to press your county commissioners, legislators, your friends who are judges, to support this pilot project.