Chippewa Falls PD and Family Support Center team up for domestic violence prevention protocol

The Chippewa Falls Police Department and the Family Support Center implement a new lethality assessment protocol in helping domestic abuse victims amid October’s DVAM.
Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 5:01 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -Purple ribbons paint the town of Chippewa falls, to call attention to the victims of domestic abuse this month.

Last year, 52 people in Wisconsin were killed as a result of a domestic homicide, according to the state’s domestic violence homicide report.

Four of those, in Chippewa County.

“Less than 6% of victims nationwide, who are killed by intimate partners, are actually connected to domestic violence services. So really thinking about how do we get the highest risk people to connect with people to try and help them stay as safe as possible?” Jeni asks.

Family Support Center Program Director, Jeni H, who does not give her name to the public, says a new protocol for officers does just that.

The Chippewa Falls Police Department says the use of lethal assessment protocol (LAP) is underway, getting victims of domestic violence abuse in touch with outreach services, sight unseen.

“The officer is going to call right there, so it’s not like ‘here’s a number, call tomorrow, call if you feel like it,’ right. It’s like, ‘I l think you’re in danger, let’s call together,’” Jeni says.

Chief Matt Kelm with the Chippewa Falls Police Department says assessing the victim’s risk right away is what’s important.

“It’s a series of 11 questions that we would ask the victim, and based on their responses if they rate high enough, on the score for the lethality assessment, then we would put them into immediate contact with the Family Support Center in this case,” Kelm says.

Some of the screening questions include asking victims if they have been threatened, if this is a first attempt of violence and if weapons were involved.

“Domestic abuse happens all the time, and it’s important if people believe domestic abuse is occurring to call, even if it could be uncomfortable, because you might be saving a life,” Kelm says.

The goal is to make sure those who need help, get it.

For a list of events the Family Support Center is hosting throughout the month, click here.

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