WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Saving lives — that is the goal of a new program being implemented by the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office, with the help of Someplace Safe, is rolling out a new program aimed at better helping victims of domestic violence.
Someplace Safe, located on Tod Avenue in Warren, is a social services agency that offers support services for victims of domestic violence. A major goal of the organization is reducing and preventing the cycle of violence, as well as providing advocacy and education on domestic abuse.
The joint program is called the Lethality Assistance Program, and it aims to provide immediate help to these victims through a unique screening system.
“As soon as I heard of the program, I knew the need for it in Trumbull County, and they told me that no one is doing it around here, so we’re excited to be one of the counties in the state of Ohio that’s going to have this program,” said Trumbull County Sheriff Thomas Altiere.
Through the program, a deputy responding to a domestic violence call will have to go through a checklist of questions with the reported victim, such as, “Has he/she ever threatened to kill you? Does he/she have a gun or can he/she get one easily? Does you have a child that he/she knows is not his/hers?”
These questions are used to get victims better connected with the services that they need right on the scene. A “yes” response to certain questions automatically triggers a referral to sources that can help the victim.
Someplace Safe Director Bonnie Wilson said the need for this type of service continues to grow, and Someplace Safe cannot reach all of the domestic violence victims in the area alone.
“Since the beginning of this year, the demand for our services at Someplace Safe has been unprecedented and unlike anything that we’ve seen in our 37-year history,” she said.
As part of the program, deputies are also trained on how to initiate protocol and respond to situations that they believe are violent in nature.
“We know that it will ultimately help benefit all of us. This relationship and this partnership between the Sheriff’s Office and Someplace Safe is ultimately going to help save lives,” Wilson said.