Advocates for victims of domestic violence in Tucson will have continued support thanks to a new federal grant.
Since April 2013, Tucson City Court’s Domestic Violence Court has connected more than 4,100 victims of domestic violence with services provided by the Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, including safety planning, therapy and legal assistance. Judge Wendy Million says the $549,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women will continue that program for three more years.
“Domestic violence courts are really focused on making sure that victims are connected with services and on holding people who are convicted of domestic violence crimes accountable and hopefully focused on changing them,” Million said.
Million says the money will continue to pay for security and advocates in the Domestic Violence Court. The court has also started partnerships with COPE Community Services to connect victims with mental health treatment and the Community Outreach Program for the Deaf.
“Because there’s a lot of barriers in the deaf community — to calling the police, to coming to court — and so we’re trying to make people realize that they have a place at city court, too, and they’re going to get access to justice,” Million said.
Million says the goal is to get victims connected to support services, whether or not they chose to prosecute.
Last year Tucson City Court was designated a national domestic violence mentor court, one of only 14 in the country.