October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Douglas County Sheriff Dave Weaver wants to be sure that victims of Domestic Violence know they can get help in our community. Unfortunately, we know that families in Douglas County are struggling with domestic violence everyday. Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has worked with over 1,000 victims and co-victims of domestic violence this year through September, 2010. We know that many members of our community are in crisis and need essential resources. Resources we provide include:
- Domestic Violence Investigative Team – This team is comprised of an investigator with specialized training in the laws and investigation techniques around Domestic Violence. The investigator works closely with many members of the agency including the Victim Advocates who help to support the victims through the initial stages of the criminal justice system and provide referrals for long term support
- Victim Assistance Program – In addition to working with the Investigators, the Victim Advocates provide support, referrals, and information to victims everyday. In domestic violence cases, the Advocates talk to victims about the investigative process, protection orders, and resources within the criminal justice system. They also provide referrals for therapy, legal advocacy, shelter, and many other support services that are available in our community.
- VINE Jail Notification – Douglas County Sheriff’s Office participates in the VINE system. This system notifies enrollees when an inmate is released from the jail. This is an important safety program for victims of domestic violence so that they can best protect themselves and their children from the perpetrator. This service is available to any member of the community and is accessed through a self-enrollment process. Details are available online or through Victim Advocates.
- Domestic Violence Task Force – Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has hosted the monthly County Domestic Violence Task Force for several years. This group brings together public, private, and non-profit organizations for better communication, to share training and knowledge of services available to victims, and to ensure that we work as a County-wide team to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence.
- Referrals to The Women’s Crisis and Family Outreach Center – Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has maintained a close working relationship with this important resource in our County. The Sheriff’s Office makes referrals to TWCFOC and also has had a Chief on their Board for several years. We also share training opportunities and support their funding efforts.
- Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board – This metro Denver review group believes that by examining these tragedies they can learn more about how to prevent domestic violence-related deaths, support the needs of families living under the cloud of domestic violence, and affect legislation that supports the safety of victims and the accountability of perpetrators. The information they collect allows for a better understanding of the dynamic patterns which may contribute to intimate partner fatalities. Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has a representative appointed to this Board.
- Resource Information – On the Douglas County website there is more Domestic Violence information and links. In the Victim Assistance portion of the website there are flyers about Dating Violence, and general information and links for many issues related to Domestic Violence.
Douglas County Sheriff Dave Weaver encourages those living in fear of violence in their home to seek help now. No family should live in fear. There are many resources reaching out to help you.