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In the past month the issue of domestic violence has been making headlines due to high profile cases regarding professional athletes. While the social statuses of the perpetrators have drawn a great deal of attention to these cases, it is important to always consider and support the victims of domestic violence.

This October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in an effort to increase awareness and improve the way domestic violence cases are investigated the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is encouraging law enforcement agencies to spend time identifying areas to strengthen in order to enhance their agency’s response to domestic violence.

Related Stories: 7 Things to Know About Domestic Violence

Throughout the month of October the IACP 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.

The IACP wants agencies to consider a number of things regarding their handling of domestic violence cases such as: 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 that the IACP offers agencies to strengthen their 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.

Related Stories: Surviving Domestic Violence

 

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