Women Helping Women, CPD team up to combat domestic violence in Cincinnati

Women Helping Women is partnering with the Cincinnati Police Department to change the way domestic violence calls are handled (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Women Helping Women and the Cincinnati Police department are joining forces to create a new unit which leads to an innovative way to handle domestic violence calls.

The idea is to get women and children the services they need when they need them most.

It's a problem that's on the rise. Sexual assault services have spiked by 38 percent in the last year. Women Helping Women served a record number of survivors, topping out at 7,000. They've already surpassed those numbers this year.

Eight women have died in domestic violence incidents, three of them in October alone. "We're seeing enormous amounts of younger people who are committing domestic violence or assaults on girlfriends. We are seeing enormous amounts of serious felonious assaults as it relates to gender based violence."

Experts say it's time for a change. So, at a breakfast held by Women Helping Women on November 2, they announced a new program. DVERT, the Domestic Violence Emergency Response Team, which will launch in January.

Now, advocates from Women Helping Women will be sent to every domestic violence call in the city. "Basically when someone is experiencing domestic violence and they make that call for service to the police, we want to also be showing up," said CEO of WHW Kristin Shrimplin. "So, the police will be dispatched and then for the first time in this region, advocates will be dispatched on the scene to help that woman and her children in their greatest time of need."

Funding for DVERT is coming from a grant paid for by the Ohio attorney general's office. The new unit is based on a similar program in Santa Barbara, California.

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