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Domestic violence advocate will respond with Cincinnati police to domestic violence calls

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

A domestic violence advocate will now respond with Cincinnati police to domestic violence calls and provided services to victims on scene.

Women Helping Women performed more than 16,500 crisis interventions in the last year and is on target for surpassing that number in 2017, according to Kristin Smith Shrimplin, the agency's president and CEO.

Sexual assault services have spiked by 38 percent.

"WHW advocates are literally running from the hospital, to the court house, to support groups to answering the hotlines and frankly, they have been running out of time with survivors," Shrimplin said. "We are searching for funding to meet this increase in need."

Seven people died in Hamilton County this year due to domestic violence homicide, she said.

To try to quell that, Women Helping Women and the Cincinnati Police Department were awarded a grant by state Attorney General DeWine to jointly respond to domestic violence calls and institute services on the scene.

Getting survivors into service immediately will institute safety planning early with the goal to ultimately prevent homicides.

The protocol, named DVERT (Domestic Violence Emergency Response Team), will begin in January 2018.

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