Police develop brochure to aid domestic violence victims 07-17-03

PHONE: 961-8839
JULY 17, 2003


Big Island police have developed a new brochure and card to quickly refer domestic violence victims to emergency providers.

Entitled “A Safe Place to get help — as close as the phone,” the brochure provides information to victims who might not know where to turn after an incident of domestic violence.

The brochure includes a brief list of services and phone numbers available in both East and West Hawaii, including those of safe shelters, emergency and regular medical care providers, 24-hour hotlines for counseling and crisis management and information on legal assistance.

The card contains the numbers for the 24-hour hotline and safe shelters and numbers to call to get help securing a temporary restraining order against attackers or abusers.

It is the size of a regular business card so it can be kept securely hidden by victims who feel threatened by having such information in plain sight of their attacker.

Both the card and brochure will be distributed to police officers around the island so that when they respond to a case of domestic violence, they can easily give the information to the victim.

Under current practice, when a patrol officer responds to a reported sexual assault or domestic violence call, his primary function is to conduct a preliminary investigation and, if appropriate, refer the investigation to the Sex Crimes Unit or Domestic Violence Unit. It may take several days before an assigned investigator can make contact with the victim for a follow-up investigation. The card and brochure will provide an effective and non-intrusive method of service referral so domestic violence victims can get needed services while an investigation is still pending.

The cards and brochures will also be made available in strategic public places, including medical facilities, government offices and victim services organizations. They will also be distributed at appropriate public speaking engagements.

The information is also available on Hawaii County Police Department’s website <www.hawaiipolice.com>, under the “Police Hotlines” section.

The Zonta Club of Hilo made the card and brochure project possible through a grant from the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation.

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