The first week of July the NC Dept. of Justice released a report on the number of domestic violence related homicides in NC. A law was passed in 2007 that requires this report to be released every year. Wake County has remarkable statistics compared to the rest of the state. Of the 106 domestic violence related murders, only 4 were in Wake County. In all the other counties the number of DV homicides track in proportion to or above the population in that county. In Wake County we have a dramatically low DV related homicide rate compared to the rest of the state. Why is this?
I have a couple of theories… Wake County has an incredible DV Task Force made up of attorneys, judges, district attorneys, clerks of court, victim service providers, offender service providers, police officers, sheriffs, and even more folks who get together monthly to problem solve and discuss DV in our community. I am proud to say that Barbara Rodriguez, the Supervisor for our Family Safety Division, and Johnette Smith, one of our DOSE case managers attend the meetings every month. I even get there more often than not.
People (men and women) who commit acts of domestic violence in Wake County are ordered to participate in treatment or jail. At TFS, we have the largest batterer intervention program in the state. We are frequently asked to consult with other programs in the state. At one point, we even met with dignitaries from Moldova (per Elaine Marshall’s request) to assist them in starting a similar program. We know we can’t fix everyone, but we have some pretty amazing success stories. The last time we did research (about 6 months ago) we found out that only 2% of men who successfully complete the DOSE program re-offend within the year. That compares with the national average of 67% who re-offend within one year.
I am proud of our staff. I am motivated to continue working hard for our clients to help them make changes. I am humbled by the fact that we play a role in standing up and making sure Wake County is a community that doesn’t tolerate abuse.
News brief: http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/11274050/
NCDOJ DV Report for 2011: http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/17e5e3bc-e522-47fe-b0a6-d729af570844/2011-Final-DV-Homicide-Report.aspx