News Release

Domestic Violence Conference to Feature Medical, Law Enforcement Experts

Experts on the medical aspects of intimate partner violence and state-of-the-art investigative techniques will be featured at the upcoming Domestic Violence Conference scheduled at Dalton State College Friday, October 21.

Social services and law enforcement professionals from all over north Georgia will gather on the Dalton campus for the fifth annual conference, the theme of which is “Working Together: The Key to Ending Domestic Violence.” Sponsors for the event are the Conasauga Family Violence Alliance, Dalton State’s School of Social Work, the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center, Inc., and the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Keynote speaker for the event will be Dr. Sheryl Heron, Associate Professor and Associate Residency Director of the Emory University Department of Emergency Medicine, who will speak on “Intimate Partner Violence: Perceptions of an Emergency Medical Professional.”

Reflecting on 15 years in the field of emergency medicine, Dr. Heron will share her perceptions of intimate partner violence and offer recommendations to medical professionals, social service and domestic violence professionals, and community members at-large for addressing the needs of victims, said Marcy Muller, attorney with Georgia Legal Services and Conference Planning Committee Member. State and national trends in intimate partner violence will be identified, as well as gaps in victim services. Attendees will gain understanding of the work still to be done within their respective communities to keep women safe.

Dr. Heron’s experience includes board membership on the Georgia Commission on Family Violence and the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence as well as membership on the DeKalb County Domestic Violence Task Force. She has worked with the National Institute of Medicine to educate health professionals on intimate partner violence and authored a medical protocol on domestic violence that was distributed by the Georgia Commission on Family Violence for use statewide.

Dr. Heron has received awards for her work on intimate partner violence, including the Partnership Against Domestic Violence HOPE Award, the Gender Justice Award from the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, and the Champion for Change Award from the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence.

In addition to her keynote address, Dr. Heron will also lead a morning breakout session on “Healthcare Professionals’ Response to Intimate Partner Violence.”

Michael Mertz returns to the Domestic Violence Conference to present “Roll Call Training for Law Enforcement” in a plenary address in the afternoon.

Mertz operates C&M Consulting, LLC, a professional training company specializing in law enforcement training on response to violence against women, specifically sexual assault and domestic violence. Mertz is a Police Officer Standards and Training-certified law enforcement officer and POST-certified trainer and has been training on issues regarding violence against women for more than 10 years.

Prior to operating his own training and consulting business, Mertz was employed by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police as a domestic violence consultant/trainer and grants program administrator. Mertz served with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office as the lieutenant in charge of the domestic violence unit until December 2000.

In addition to his plenary address, Mertz will also lead an afternoon breakout session on “Primary Aggressor Investigation on the Scene.”

Other breakout topics include “Domestic Violence in the Workplace: It’s Your Business,” featuring Taylor Thompson Tabb of the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “Same Sex Intimate Partner Violence,” with Jennifer Thomas and Laura Barton of United 4 Safety, “Financial Abuse of At-Risk Adults,” with Pat King, RN, of the Forensic Special Investigation Unit of the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services, and “Teen Dating Violence,” with Jackie Davis and Kyle Cole of the Jane Fonda Center at the Emory University School of Medicine.

The conference will run 9 am to 3:30 pm at the College. Continuing Education Units will be available for Licensed Medical Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, and Licensed Marital and Family Therapists; POST  credit has been applied for. Cost of the conference is $35 and includes lunch; $45 after October 19. For a full brochure and registration information, visit or contact Dr. Lynne Cabe at 706-272-2482.

Dr. Sheryl Heron
Dr. Sheryl Heron
Michael Mertz
Michael Mertz
Dalton State, 650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720
706.272.4436 • 1.800.829.4436 •