23 Apr 2012

A Productive Partnership between a Shelter and a Sheriff’s Office: S.T.O.P. in Action in Georgia

This week we take a look at a S.T.O.P. funded domestic violence program's collaboration with the Sheriff's Office:

No One Alone (NOA) is established as a leading voice against domestic violence and a strong advocate for victims.  The program offers help during times of turmoil, transition, and change.  Services include a twenty-four hotline, safe shelter, legal advocacy, counseling, and other supportive services. 

Recent studies show that 78% of victims call law enforcement immediately after an incident of domestic violence, but only 19% contact the local shelter for assistance.* The NOA Collaborative Project identifies victims at high risk of being seriously injured or killed, and those unlikely to seek help from domestic violence programs.  The primary purpose of the intervention strategy is to connect victims to shelter services and prevent domestic violence homicide, serious injuries, and re-assault.

The Sheriff’s Office houses an NOA advocate as part of the NOA Collaborative Project.  The NOA advocate, who is an employee of NOA, collaborates with law enforcement by following up on 911 calls and police reports, and by linking victims to shelter services.  The advocate is available to meet with victims at the Sheriff’s Office or to visit victims at their home, accompanied by the Domestic Violence Investigator. 

Date demonstrate that victims are more likely to cooperate with law enforcement and take steps to protect their children when they are supported by shelter services.  All victims identified by the Sheriff’s Office receive a follow-up call or visit by the NOA legal advocate for safety planning and linkage to support services. 

The collaboration of the shelter and law enforcement is a powerful partnership.  None of the victims served by the project have been killed or re-assaulted, and no domestic violence homicide has been reported since the project was implemented in October 2004.  By linking victims to shelter services, the NOA Collaborative Project provides immediate assistance and safety to victims, thus deterring future violence.

View the S.T.O.P. in Action film to take a deeper look at the promising S.T.O.P. funded work. For more information on ALSO’s S.T.O.P.Technical Assistance to Administrators Resource (STAAR) Project, click here. Make sure to check back next week to see if your state is featured or follow us on twitter for these and other updates.

* Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. GCADV. GA Fatality Review, 2009. Web. 18 Nov. 2010