The 15th annual Domestic Violence Awareness Breakfast & Briefing will be held from 7:45-9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, in the Downtown Center Theatre on the Square. This year, the briefing will feature domestic violence survivor Janet Paulsen.
Janet Paulsen was an ordinary suburban mom in November 2015. She was the executive vice president of the Acworth Baseball Association, supporting her athletic and active 13-year-old twin boys. She and her husband of 15 years owned a mortgage servicing business. She was in the best shape of her life, having just trained for and completed a grueling Savage Race with obstacle course. The Volunteer of the Year Award, given by the Georgia Parks and Recreation Association, had just been minted with her name as its recipient. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Paulsen also had an 18-year career in the shopping center industry managing and marketing regional malls and outlet centers on behalf of the developers.
Unfortunately, Paulsen was also living a different life behind closed doors. She was living with an abusive, alcoholic husband — a living nightmare sleeping beside her every night. On Nov. 5, 2015, her then-husband attempted to kill her by shooting her six times, leaving her right leg paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury. She survived after multiple surgeries and physical therapy and chooses to live her life to the fullest by taking care of her boys, participating in sports such as scuba diving and water skiing, and being a voice for others living in similar situations. In sharing her story, she empowers other survivors and victims by providing valuable insight into her experience of navigating through an imperfect system. This information helps to shed light on existing gaps and will provide professionals who serve victims with ideas of how to make improvements that could help save lives.
The event is presented each October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month by the Hall County Domestic Violence Task Force and is sponsored by Gateway Domestic Violence Center, Brenau University, Hall County Solicitor’s Office, NGMC Trauma & Acute Care Surgery and McDonald’s. It is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required. The breakfast begins at 7:45 a.m. and the briefing will begin at 8 a.m. Go to www.safergeorgia.com for more information.