October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month –what are you doing to support victims?
Throughout the month of October we will be highlighting the efforts of three departments that have implemented innovative practices to respond to domestic violence and partnered with local advocacy organizations to increase awareness about the crime and impact of domestic violence.
During Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), we encourage you to spend time identifying areas to strengthen in order to enhance your agency’s response to domestic violence. What effective work is your department already employing that can be built upon? What other strategies can be implemented to improve the way domestic violence cases are investigated?
Here are a few practices to strengthen your support of domestic violence victims and encourage reporting:
- Implement comprehensive training and supervisory review to ensure case reports are accurate and thorough
- Post your domestic violence policy on your department’s website
- Implement an assessment program to identify domestic violence cases that are high-risk and collaborate with the local domestic violence victim advocates’ organization to support victims and provide them with additional help
- Provide information on your website about local and national resources for the victims of domestic violence
- Conduct a department safety and accountability audit to identify gaps, provide new insights, strengthen relationships, enhance victim safety, and ensure offender and systemic accountability. Visit Praxis International for more audit information.
Although we are only highlighting three departments this month, we commend all agencies that have implemented practices to support victims of domestic violence and hold perpetrators accountable, and who have started a dialogue about domestic violence with community members, local advocacy groups, and other criminal justice partners.
The IACP has created a number of useful resources and tools on domestic violence in collaboration with the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women that are available in electronic form at the following link: http://www.theiacp.org/Police-Response-to-Violence-Against-Women.