Local News

Domestic Violence Court Offers Hope

Posted June 7, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A new effort is underway in Durham County to fight domestic violence. The District Attorney's office just received a $331,000 grant from the state to establish a domestic violence court.

One out of 10 couples bears the scars of domestic violence, and six million women are attacked every day by boyfriends or spouses. The new domestic violence court is a step to try to prevent further abuse.

Areas that already have such a court say that women get better and quicker service and fewer cases fall through the cracks because the same people work on the cases from start to finish. Those cases that fall through the cracks are the ones that usually end up in death or serious injury.

The court will provide a single place where women can go to get all the help they need. It means hope for the victims, and it can save lives.

The state grant will pay for a judge, prosecutor, clerk and victim's advocate. The county will hold court three days a week. The money will also provide additional support groups for victims.

Support groups give the opportunity for victims to see domestic violence as a serious problem, and to meet other women who have experienced it.

Poverty, unemployment and lack of education can contribute to domestic violence, but the best predictor is alcohol abuse. If you need help or have experienced domestic violence, you can call 800-799-SAFE and get information on resources in your area.