October 18, 2013

New Domestic Violence Plan Launched

New Domestic Violence Plan Launched

An Indianapolis organization is putting together a plan to help combat an issue leaders say is a growing concern.

Domestic Violence Network released its third version of the Central Indiana Community Wide Plan to End Domestic Violence.

"I think this one is going to be more effective because they are targeting the four main groups that are effected by domestic violence youth being, to me, the main group so we can educate them early, especially young girls who find themselves in domestic violence relationships and don't even realize it," said Valerie Washington with the Department of Public Safety.  "I think that by targeting the community and making sure we're tapping into all of their resources is finally key."

The plan also includes reaching out to the abusers. 

"We can tie some of the counseling in to different plea agreements and education options," said Washington.  "We can probably compel participation and hopefully after initially compelling them, we can get them to generally want to get involved and make some positive changes."

Supervisor of Safe Family Programs Mark Sattler says the effort will be effective because it focuses on working with a coordinated response.

"If most of us look really deep and ask the tough questions of family members and those people we have relationships with - as we said, one in three individuals - we can normally find someone pretty close to our lives (impacted by domestic violence)," he said.  "It's not something we like to talk about a lot, but it is a real problem in our community and so we just want to make sure people are aware."

Domestic Violence Network Executive Director Kelly McBride says the issue impacts everyone, even if not directly.

"Every single person knows someone who is a victim of domestic violence, if they are not a victim themselves.  They just don't know it," she said.  "Domestic violence is not always physical.  It's about power and control, so you can be in a domestic violence relationship and never be physically harmed. But if your partner is taking away your power, that is abuse."

"So, keeping that in mind and starting to have conversations with other people, that's how you get involved."

She says success will be measured by a reduction in violent incidents, homicides, and need for shelters.

Indianapolis announced Thursday it will provide $800,000 from federal grants to organizations for assistance and shelter of domestic violence victims.


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