County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg discusses regional focus on finding solutions in reporting, halting domestic abuse
StoryA regional coalition of community based victim advocacy groups and criminal justice organizations are part of the new effort to reduce domestic violence in King County. County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg today briefed the Metropolitan King County Council’s Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee on a new Domestic Violence Initiative (DVI) that includes human service agencies along with the Prosecutor and Sheriff working together to identify barriers and find realistic solutions to improving domestic violence response.
“The challenges of preventing domestic violence are truly regional, so our response to the problem must be regional,” said Satterberg. “Our goal in initiating the DVI is to identify concrete problems faced by victims, law enforcement and community advocates across our region and then finding concrete, workable solutions to those problems.”
One is three homicides in King County is a domestic violence crime and police agencies in King County handle more than 12,000 incidents annually. In addition, it is estimated that 60,000 children in King County are exposed to domestic violence in their homes.
“This is a serious community problem that affects all levels of our society,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn, Chair of the Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee. “Domestic violence cases plague our criminal justice system and affect future generations. I applaud our Prosecutor for proactively tackling this difficult issue.”
Feedback to the DVI so far indicates a need for the following work program issues:
• Information sharing and best practices between public and private agencies.
• Improved protection order process and administration to ensure that victims are protected.
• Uniform standards and implementation of offender risk assessments.
• Stronger partnerships with local and non-profit agencies to promote a better regional response.
The King County Council’s 2010 budget preserved funding for programs that dealt with sexual assault and domestic violence. However, with a looming $60 million deficit in 2011, those programs are in danger of being eliminated.