Plans like this make me believe that my efforts and the efforts of everyone else who focuses on violence against women, in a variety of ways, are making a real and substantial difference. Fortunately, there are more and more members of law enforcement who see domestic violence as a problem that needs to be addressed in ways that are effective for both the criminal justice system and for the victims of domestic violence.
Last year there were more than 18,000 domestic abuse calls to St. Paul Police. Many of those victims had a difficult time getting help. "He kept telling me he was going to kill me and I was scared to go to sleep," said "Debbie" a domestic abuse victim. "Debbie" is on the run from her abusive boyfriend. She's not alone. Police say domestic violence accounts for more than 26 percent of violent crimes in Minnesota, and getting help is not always easy.
"What good does it do -- you walk home, lock your doors and you get beat up in your own home?" said Retired Police Officer Michael Toronto. He's worked the domestic abuse beat for more than 20 years and is now working to put the center together. "I want victims to know that the community is ready to stand with them and support them. And I want perpetrators to know that you're not going to get away with this anymore. That we're going to track you, apprehend you and we're going to prosecute."
I know there will always be those who blame victims or consider domestic violence to be a private matter, but they don't have to be the most influential voices.
Technorati tags: domestic abuse crime politics domestic violence