Laura’s House Partners with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to “End the Silence” of Domestic Violence

Posted on Tuesday, February 5th 2013

Through presentations to local law enforcement, Laura’s House is arming Sheriff’s deputies and police officers throughout Orange County with the tools and information they need to improve the outcomes of domestic violence 9-1-1 calls

Ladera Ranch, Calif., Feb. 1, 2013 – Recent studies indicate that police in the United States spend approximately one-third of their time responding to domestic violence calls, and will often return to the same home multiple times to address complaints. To better educate Orange County Deputy Sheriff’s and local police officers concerning domestic violence, and arm them with the resources and information they need to improve the outcomes of domestic violence 9-1-1 calls, Laura’s House has teamed up with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, led by Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens.

“Domestic violence is a serious issue that can often be viewed as a nuisance for law enforcement officers who are called to the same home, over and over again – especially when the victim is too afraid or refuses to press charges,” said Marissa Presley, Bilingual Prevention and Education Specialist for Laura’s House. “The startling reality is that this recurring violence can turn deadly, if the victim does not take legal action and receive access to the support and resources she or he need to start rebuilding a life that is free of violence. By providing law enforcement with the tools and strategies that will enable them to better understand the violence from the victim’s perspective, and help them through referrals to Laura’s House and other domestic violence resources, we can change the attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate the violence.”

Since 2010, Presley has been leading presentations for Orange County Deputy Sheriffs and police officers, as well as the Juvenile Services Bureau, which includes School Resource Officers and Investigators. These presentations are designed to help officers and investigators responding to domestic violence calls better assess both the situation and the behavior of the victim and abuser, so that they may take a course of action that will lead to a more positive outcome. During these presentations, officers learn about the types of questions they should be asking both the victim and their abuser, and how to counsel and provide the victim with a clear overview of their rights, which include pressing charges and seeking assistance at Laura’s House or other local domestic violence shelters.

Laura’s House also provides the Orange County Sheriff’s Department with victim’s assistance resources, including small cards with the number for the Laura’s House 24-hour domestic violence hotline imprinted on them, as well as many other helpful agencies. “Being able to provide the victim with a phone number where he or she can get help is one of the ways that law enforcement can gain the victim’s trust,” continued Presley. “Victims are often hesitant to involve the police because they are afraid that their abuser will turn the tables and blame them for everything.”

“We are grateful for Laura’s House and their commitment to ‘ending the silence’ of domestic violence in Orange County and beyond” said Sandra Hutchens, Orange County Sheriff-Coroner. “The presentations that Laura’s House provides to our Deputy Sheriff’s and law enforcement officials are instrumental in our efforts to break the cycle of violence in our communities. Being better informed about how to appropriately deal with situations where violence is occurring within the home is one of the ways in which our deputies can prevent domestic violence from turning deadly.”

About Laura’s House

Over the past eighteen years, Laura’s House has provided residential shelter and support services to nearly 3,500 families, and counseling, life skills education and legal assistance to over 40,000 individuals. The mission of Laura’s House is to change the social beliefs, attitudes and the behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence while creating a safe space in which to empower individuals and families affected by abuse.

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