RESPOND, Inc. & Malden PD Welcome October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
By: RESPOND, Inc.
As of October 1, 16 victims of domestic violence have lost their lives to homicide in Massachusetts already this year.
Malden was the first town to pilot RESPOND's Law Enforcement Partnership program back in 2015. RESPOND has a Domestic Violence (DV) Counselor, on-site 3 days a week. The Counselor is able to connect with victims of domestic incidents within 24-48 hours of the initial call, and is trained to identify cases that have the potential to escalate and provide access to RESPOND's 24-hour crisis services. RESPOND's DV Counselor works closely with Elijah McNeal, a Malden police detective focused on domestic violence cases. This unique partnership allows us to take proactive measures to reach survivors and initiate services as opposed to waiting for survivors to find the time in this time of crisis where survival is the primary focus.
"Domestic violence does not discriminate. It happens to people of all genders, identities, abilities, and socio-economic status. Until we accept that domestic violence is a significant public health issue and societal problem that requires the funding and support of life-saving services, victims will continue to be at risk," said Malden Police Chief Kevin Molis. "I am incredibly proud to not only be part of an organization doing this vital work, but to live in a town that takes domestic violence seriously and is actively working to eliminate the obstacles that prevent victims from finding safety and support."
RESPOND is proud of the unique services it provides through our partnerships with five local police departments (Malden, Melrose, Wakefield, Woburn, and Reading). Until we end domestic violence, the doors of domestic violence programs must stay open to welcome survivors.
"Most people don't realize that in just one day last year, domestic violence agencies in Massachusetts collectively had to turn away over 200 survivors for shelter and housing services. The sad reality is that most survivors are unable to access a shelter bed or safe housing to meet their immediate safety needs," said RESPOND's Director of Philanthropy and Engagement and Malden resident, Heather Lonks Minty. "This is exactly why we need community-based domestic violence services, like RESPOND's Law Enforcement Partnerships program, which can assist survivors in securing immediate and long-term safety, even if access to a traditional emergency shelter is unavailable."
Heather Lonks Minty
Director of Philanthropy and Engagement