“Domestic violence continues to be the number one 911 call received in virtually every city and town across our state, and requires a concerted effort to raise awareness, change policy, provide legal assistance and increase training for law enforcement, which this grant will help to facilitate,”
The new $100,000 allocation will focus on the following programs: “Speak Out Against Domestic Violence” campaign; streamlining the protective order process; the volunteer lawyers program; and a victim advocate training program. Each of these programs will be a collaboration between O’Connor House and various law enforcement and service agencies around the state.
-“Speak Out Against Domestic Violence” is a public awareness campaign that seeks to educate political and community leaders, employers, and the community at large about the extent of domestic violence in Arizona, and to elevate its importance in public policy decisions.
- Orders of Protection are one of the only tools proven effective against DV perpetrators. Our program, which is a collaboration between state courts, law enforcement, government, DV service providers, victims and advocates, is working to streamline the legal process associated with protective orders, particularly in the areas of service of process, notification of victims, and cross-jurisdictional cooperation. Police Chief Monahan of Apache Junction will serve as a co-chair of this state-wide task force with a law enforcement representative from Flagstaff.
- Volunteer Lawyers Program: One of the greatest needs cited by victims and advocates is access to pro bono legal representation of victims in civil cases, like orders of protection, divorce, child custody, etc. Budgets for these services are being slashed, now only providing 1 in 4 victims access to representation. Our program is a collaboration with the Avon Program, Halle Center, State Bar of Arizona, Community Legal Services and others to help add capacity by recruiting and helping to train volunteer lawyers in this area.
- Victim Advocates: Although there are victim advocates available at many shelters and through law enforcement, these important DV responders are inconsistently trained and under-valued. We have joined with the Maricopa County Association of Governments (MAG) to bring these advocates together to assist them in getting the training and the resources they need, as well as creating a network for more cooperative and comprehensive responses to victims.
About the AVON Program for Women and Justice: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor chose domestic violence as the first focus for this program. Chaired by Kim Sterling Heflin and Lucia Fakonas Howard, the Avon Program For Women and Justice at O’Connor House has convened a diverse and multi-disciplinary group of participants and experts from across Arizona (many serving on a totally volunteer basis) to examine the issue of domestic violence and to build collaborations for improving policies and services for victims.
In collaboration with existing domestic violence organizations and services, the Avon Program uses the O’Connor House process to convene leaders and the community to:
Affect positive change in domestic violence policies and systems;
Leverage leadership and resources to elevate the importance of domestic violence in public policy; and
Raise awareness about domestic violence among policy makers, community leaders, and the community.
For Additional information, visit: http://www.oconnorhouse.org/