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Task Force Looking At Domestic Violence In Lawrence County

Last updated on Monday, January 30, 2012

(BEDFORD) - The Domestic Violence Task Force including representatives from governmental leaders to police officers, and teachers to doctors meet Thursday to explore ways to end domestic violence.

The task force is receiving organizational support from Indiana University's Department of Applied Health Science.

Judge Michael Robbins of Lawrence Superior Court I, one of the leaders in the domestic violence initiative, is urging members to focus on concrete, attainable goals

The large task force has been split into four broad sectors. Members of those sectors worked on specific plans and ideas Thursday. The smaller groups are defined as:

* Education, dealing with students and adults.

* Health care, addressing mental, emotional and physical health aspects of domestic violence.

* Law enforcement, including perspectives not only of police, prosecutors, but also of defense attorneys.

* Community, working on awareness and educational campaigns.

During the group's first meeting in November, task force members reviewed as report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, which completed a study of domestic violence in Lawrence County from 2007 to 2009.

The CDC reported nine people - seven victims and two perpetrators - died in domestic violence incidents during the time studied. Police responded to some 2,000 domestic violence calls (880 in Bedford alone), and almost 700 victims sought help from local agencies.

Several factors contribute to domestic violence in Lawrence County. Those range from cultural and family norms, job losses and other economic hardships that increase stress.
The CDC reported the county has limited services for perpetrators and victims, and that the services are not easily accessible because of transportation and financial barriers.

The task force will meet again March 29.

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