Domestic violence, child abuse victims to receive help from new Hamilton County Prosecutor’s team
HAMILTON CO., Ohio (FOX19) - A new unit aimed at helping the victims of domestic violence and child abuse has been formed in Hamilton County by Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters.
The newly formed Crimes of Violence Against Woman and Children Unit will screen and review criminal cases of domestic violence and child abuse.
“Traditional safety nets” that find these victims have been lost while Stay-At-Home orders are in full effect because of the coronavirus, Prosecutor Deters stated.
“We know that the COVID-19 outbreak has shattered the traditional safety nets that identify and help women, children, and domestic partners who are in danger. Closed schools mean that schoolteachers are no longer seeing and reporting signs of abuse of their students," Deters said. "Work from home policies mean co-workers are no longer able to encourage abuse victims to get help. Stay at home orders lead to abused women and children being forced to be with their abuser 24/7. Victims may feel like there is no way out. As your Hamilton County Prosecutor, I want to make it clear that there is hope.”
According to the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office, these cases will be handled by one attorney, one assigned prosecutor, and one assigned victim advocate.
This approach is known as a vertical prosecution, which the prosecutor’s office says can help victims avoid re-traumatization.
The prosecutor’s office also suggests this approach helps create trust and communication between victims and prosecutors.
“I have fought for victims of crime my entire career. My experience as a litigator, seeing firsthand the emotional trauma of victims navigating the court process, led me to start the first Victim Advocacy program in Hamilton County," Deters explained.
Prosecutors from the Crimes of Violence Against Woman and Children Unit will be available 24/7 for law enforcement consultation in the investigative phase of cases, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Assistant Prosecutor Stacey DeGraffenreid will lead this unit along with a victim advocate and an investigator.
If you or someone you know is in danger, text or call 911. If you know or suspect a child is in danger or is being abused, you can call 241-KIDS.
You can also text or call Women Helping Women, 513-381-5610, or call the YWCA, 513-872-9259.
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