To create a comprehensive system of awareness, response, education and training that will enable the Bartholomew County community to give domestic violence support to victims and their families in their efforts to live a violence-free lifestyle. This domestic violence support program will reach across legal, medical, social, law enforcement, and human service organizations.
The work of the Domestic Violence team is broad and inclusive of the criminal justice system, workplace environments, emergency services, churches, schools, healthcare and social services. Efforts to reduce domestic violence in our communities take place on four fronts:
The action team has assisted the anti-bullying efforts launched by the schools in early 2006 adding a key dimension to the prevention of violence. The Bartholomew County School Corporation and volunteers provide anti-bullying training in all elementary and middle schools. This ongoing work is critical not only for safe schools and successful learning, but also in breaking the cycle of domestic violence. In addition, Safe Dates, a healthy relationship curriculum, is available for middle school health classes.
The police and sheriff's departments each have a designated officer to investigate domestic violence and sexual assault cases. As a result of focused efforts the Prosecutor's office is filing more charges against batterers. This coordinated effort has increased the consistency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system to bring the batterer to accountability.
As part of the continuum of safety and support for the victim as well as batterer accountability, Columbus Regional Hospital has increased capacity to respond to sexual assault cases presented in the Emergency Department. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) training provides advanced education and clinical preparation for practitioners who may lack skills in forensic examination of sexual assault victims.