DA’s Office and City of Northampton awarded $450,000 Domestic Violence Response Grant
The Office of Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan’s Domestic Violence and Adult Sexual Assault Unit in partnership with the City of Northampton has been awarded a $450,000 Improving Criminal Justice Response grant from the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.
The three-year grant began Oct. 1, 2017.
The NWDA, City of Northampton and Northampton Police Department have received over $2 million since 2001 allowing the Northwestern District to create and implement a best practice, multi-disciplinary response to domestic violence in the community. The DV High Risk team Project is the culmination of these efforts and combines the expertise of law enforcement and community advocates to increase safety for victims and to identify and contain the most dangerous domestic violence offenders.
“Keeping our communities safe starts with strong investments in initiatives like these. I am proud to celebrate this new funding and support the incredible work our leaders in Northampton are doing to reduce domestic violence, protect victims, and build safe communities for all of our families,” Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) said.
Prior to 2010, when the High Risk Team Project first began, there were 15 DV homicides over a 12-year period in the Northwestern District. Even in the early stages of the project there were five more homicides, three in 2010 and two in 2012. However, the district has now seen a decline with zero DV homicides in a five year period from June 2012-June 2017.
“We attribute this decline, in large part, to the success of the high risk team model and the increased monitoring and containment of domestic violence high risk offenders,” said Mary Kociela, the NWDA’s Director of Domestic Violence Projects.
The funds will extend the NWDA’s High Risk Team Project for 3 years and allow the office to reinstate a Project Coordinator back to full time, increasing her presence in court.
The grant also funds a full time domestic violence Victim/Witness advocate to sit on the team, increased support and follow-up with victims of non-fatal strangulation, training for Emergency Medical Technicians and dispatchers on the dangers of non-fatal strangulation and best practice response and the creation of a district-wide policy for police reporting of sexual assaults to the DA’s office.
"This important federal grant will help strengthen our local and regional effort to combat domestic violence, particularly our work protecting communities and victims from the most high-risk offenders," said Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz.
"The City of Northampton and Northampton Police Department are proud to partner with District Attorney David Sullivan and are grateful to him for his leadership on this critical issue."
“We are thrilled to receive these funds which will strengthen our ability to identify the most serious domestic violence cases and to work together to protect victims and prevent future domestic violence homicides,” Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan said.
Mary Carey| Communications Director
Northwestern District Attorney's Office
Mary.Carey@State.MA.US | NorthwesternDA.org
One Gleason Plaza| Northampton, MA 01060
Office (413) 586-9225| Cell (413) 588-4274
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