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Program Working for Domestic Violence Victims

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FAYETTEVILLE — Domestic violence can happen to a loved one, a family member, even the woman next door. Fayetteville police said a new program designed to helpauthorities hear a woman's cry for help is working.

The program worked to perfection early Monday morning. The Fayettevillepolice department issues panic buttons to some victims of domestic violence. They're easy to use and work faster than calling 911. Simplypush the button, and police will be on the way.

The program worked to perfection early Monday morning when Fayetteville police answered a call from one of the alarms. "It was just a big bang, soI wasn't sure what it was," said the domestic violence victim.

A Fayetteville woman said the noise at 4 a.m. turned out to be her estranged husband breaking into her home. She ordered her children to lock their bedroom door, and that's what she did with hers.

Using the phone lines, the panic button alerted a monitoring service,which automatically sends police. That was critical for a mother of three,who says Frank Jackson burst into her bedroom, armed with a kitchen knife. Police arrived within minutes and subdued Jackson with pepper spray.

The victim said she was still here because of the quick response shereceived.

Norma Hall, from the Victim Assistance Unit, said the program wasworthwhile.

The Fayetteville Police Department has about 15 of the panic buttons. They're specifically for city residents who are victims of domestic violence. In order to get one, the victim must have a restraining orderagainst the abuser.

The Orange/Durham Coalition, Duke University Police and a local securitycompany have also teamed up to offer the panic alarms. They've developed aprogram called AWARE. That stands for The Abused Women's Active Response Emergency. ADT Security Systems is paying for the panic alarms. TheOrange-Durham Coalition for Battered Women and local police agencies decide who gets them.

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