Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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October 28, 2013

Raising domestic violence awareness


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

VOUTOUR: Just remember that you may say that you won’t put the victim’s name in, but if you know the guy that got arrested, you know who got beat up. 

LEFFLER: Backing up to the very beginning. This is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is an issue. … How do you raise awareness while simultaneously hiding the crime. And I get that you’re trying to protect the victim. But aren’t you really protecting criminals? 

BAEHRE: I don’t look at it as hiding the crime. I look at it as making the victims feel as comfortable as possible. 

EGGERT: Look at the last 20, almost 20 years now since O.J., I think it’s pretty well publicized now anyway. I think there’s so much out there. The movies they’ve made over the years. The outreach that the Y does. The outreach the county does. The outreach that we do, quite frankly. There is a ton of information on domestic violence out there. So I don’t know how publicizing an arrest report would be critical to that. 

BAEHRE: Our primary goal is safety. That’s number one. Prosecution comes second. First thing we do when we meet with the victim is we assess their safety and then we talk about prosecution. And after we talk about prosecution, we go back to safety. And then after that we go back to safety. And then after conviction we go back to safety. Safety is number one in these cases and I think that’s where we’ve changed.

LEFFLER: There is a stigma to being a victim … my thought would be that the more … information that comes out, the more you might find people aren’t afraid to report because suddenly they realize that domestic violence really does happen to other people and 'I’m not some freak and my neighbors aren’t going to think that there’s something wrong with me because he hit me.' … by publicizing it, you may actually find that you get more people who are willing to come out because suddenly it doesn’t seem so rare and suddenly they’re not so alone.

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