EL CENTRO, Calif. - District Attorney Gilbert G. Otero announced that his office received a grant of $203,143 to enhance a specialized unit to provide a coordinated response to victims of domestic violence and their children. The grant is part of the Violence Against Women Act and focuses on investigation, immediate victim advocacy, and training for patrol officers/first responders.
The funding cycle for the grant is three years beginning January 1, 2018 and ending December 31, 2020. Only seven proposals were selected for funding. The grant will fund one District Attorney Investigator and one Domestic Violence Counselor.
Under the terms of the grant, the District Attorney’s Office contracted with the Center for Family Solutions/WomanHaven for a counselor to respond to immediate requests for advocacy. The District Attorney’s Office filed 593 domestic violence cases in 2017. “We recognize that domestic violence is usually not an isolated, individual event but a pattern of behavior used against the victim” DA Otero stated.
DA Otero also explained it is important to recognize that while we often assume women are the only victims of domestic violence, the Center for Disease Control recognizes that one in four adult men in the United States will become a victim of domestic violence during his lifetime.
The DA Investigator will conduct follow up investigation, serve as a resource for local law enforcement agencies and focus on cases involving repeat offenders. The DV Counselor will work with the Victim Advocates and the Special Victims Unit to address the needs of crime victims. District Attorney Otero stated “This grant presents another opportunity for our office to collaborate with the Center for Family Solutions to provide direct services to victims and their children.”