SAFE gives top priority to victims who are at high risk for serious assault or homicide at the hands of their abusers. Every domestic violence case is different, but research conducted by Dr. Jacqueline Campbell at Johns Hopkins University indicates that some situations are more dangerous than others based on identifiable factors. SAFE conducts a risk assessment based on this research with every client that we work with, and specialized services are available for those who are identified as being at high risk for serious injury or homicide.
In addition to this basic screening, the Metropolitan Police Department has partnered with us through OCAP to provide a special protocol for domestic violence calls in parts of the city where call volume is highest in an effort to provide help where it is most needed. In four Public Safety Areas in the District, officers call OCAP to make a referral from each and every domestic violence call they go to between intimate partners. If the victim shows indicators of being at high risk for future harm, they receive a wider array of services more quickly through the assistance and coordination of the Office of Victim Services and the Executive Office of the Mayor.
Using established partnerships with the Deparmtent of Mental Health, the Department of Human Services, Child and Family Services Agency, and the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), victims receive a case plan and enhanced services within 24 hours of notification to OCAP. This may lead to relocation into safe housing, enhanced counseling services for the victim and her children, and better communication of ongoing violations of probation and parole by the offender in order to decrease the abuser’s access to the victim.
SAFE advocates and volunteers also ride along with officers in areas where domestic violence is the most prevalent to offer services directly at the scene of the crime.
Our current partners in this project are:
Metropolitan Police Department
DC Department of Mental Health
DC Department of Human Services
DC’s Child and Family Services Agency
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA)
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia
DC Superior Court
Washington Hospital Center Emergency Department