For the Legal System
Domestic violence is not a private matter; it is a crime. When victims encounter the legal system, too often, the legal system is overwhelming and may not provide the remedies or support victims are seeking.
Domestic violence crimes, and the related crime, menacing by stalking, clog the Franklin County Municipal Court; over 5,000 cases were filed in 2012 with 6,000 domestic violence victims. Additionally, court records show a high number of repeat offenders and dismissals. Victims also struggle in the civil system. Batterers are often granted custody, despite proof of abuse. In protection order cases, victims are rarely awarded the economic justice they need and deserve.
To remedy this, prosecutors, law enforcement, judges and The Center for Family Safety and Healing have collaborated to create a coordinated response to seek justice and support for the victims. Our goal is to assess the legal response to domestic violence in our community, to create city and county-wide alliances and initiatives. We strive to be a model for other communities in legal domestic violence advocacy and change.
In the last 10 years, criminal justice professionals and our organization have created needed changes in the legal response to domestic violence. Additional work is needed to ensure that domestic violence abusers are held accountable and ensure that victims/survivors receive justice.
Capital University Family Advocacy Clinic
When low-income domestic violence victims in central Ohio need legal help, they have few places to turn. In partnership with The Center for Family Safety and Healing, and thanks to grants from Franklin County Commissioners, U.S. Attorney General (SVAA) and Nationwide Foundation, the Capital University Law School launched launched its Family Advocacy Clinic in October 2000 to provide free legal services to qualifying victims. Since its inception, clinic attorneys have helped over 8,000 victims with protection orders and divorce proceedings. For more information, call (614) 236-6779.
Domestic Violence Response and Instructional Guide (DV RIG): An Interactive Training Tool
The Domestic Violence Response and Instructional Guide (DV RIG) is an interactive program that has been designed for immediate use and answers to questions or challenges. All of the information, data and resources on the DV RIG have been compiled in collaboration with a team of local law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, civil attorneys and domestic violence advocates.
Franklin County is distinctive in its response to domestic violence and is recognized for its innovation. The goal for the Response and Instructional Guide is to continue this tradition of distinction while uniting with our legal professionals in improving training and resources, service delivery, domestic violence prevention and accountability.
For more information on these partnerships or initiatives, please call (614) 722-4830.