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Carthage Police Dept. is Cracking Down on Domestic Assault - KOAM TV 7

Carthage Police Dept. is Cracking Down on Domestic Assault

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CARTHAGE, MISSOURI -

The Carthage Police Department will soon be giving a second look to more domestic assault cases.

"Just the wisdom of someone that's seen a lot of domestics, and unfortunately has seen people get really hurt through domestics, talking to those victims about ‘hey you know, this is not you're only option,’” says Police Chief Greg Dagnan.

The department has had an officer dedicated to this mission for the past two years, but to meet demand they are adding an additional officer to contact more victims and connect them with support services like those offered at the Lafayette House.

"I think if law enforcement is following up and showing the victim that they see the importance of the danger she is in, hopefully if there or when there's another incident the victim will be calling 911 and knowing the police are there to help,” says Lafayette House Development Director Louise Secker.

Authorities hope this new initiative will help break the cycle of domestic assault and get victims the help they truly need.

“Domestic violence is a really tough crime because the assault is being perpetrated by someone who says he love you. And so it does take statistically several times of being a victim before the often the women finds the strength or the resources to leave the relationship or seek help."

Besides a home visit or phone call the department will also be asking victims a ten question lethality assessment to determine how much danger he or she may be in.

Chief Dagnan says "All domestic violence is dangerous but you know, certainly there are certain key questions that we can figure out that hey this victim, this is more serious maybe."

Victims will be given a lethality score, which will not only be helpful to responding authorities but also to the Prosecutor's Office. The Lafayette House has seen an uptick in domestic assault victims in the last two months, and more mothers and their children staying longer than the average stay of three weeks.

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