Positive changes are happening

by: Photo By Susan Matheny - Bank employee Connie Chamness reads the story of an Oregon domestic violence victim on a

By Brad Mondoy
   Probation officer
   J.C. Adult Community Justice
   Members of the Jefferson County Task Force encourage the community to support activities that will highlight Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.
   The origin of this movement is traced back to October 1987, when the first domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed.
   Common themes across the country were: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence.
   Some of the local activities that will be occurring during the month include "The Torch" domestic violence newsletter that was printed on Sept. 27, of this year and inserted in the newspaper.
   This project was completed by a committee of the Domestic Violence Task Force and sponsored by the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners.
   Central Oregon Battering and Rape Alliance (COBRA) will be having a canned food drive with drop boxes available at local retailers. Warm Springs Victims of Crime Office will be placing silhouettes of victims in local banks and businesses.
   Domestic violence affects many women, children and families in our communities. The Domestic Violence Task Force has been very active working with our community partners and has completed projects that the public might not be aware of.
   These projects include:
   . A safety audit of the 911 system and local law enforcement agencies.
   . Establishing a law enforcement protocol.
   . Printing two domestic violence newsletters.
   . Holding local trainings for patrol officers.
   . Audio conference trainings for employees of area community agencies.
   The task force follows a community response model which involves all of the community partners working together to reduce violence in the community.
   Working together and providing better training has resulted in better investigations, more convictions by the district attorney's office, and increased services to victims.
   I have been a probation officer in this community for over 20 years. I can share that I have worked with many children and families who were victims of violence.
   I have seen children removed from the home, placed in hospitals, foster care and with relatives. I have also been involved with children and adults who were seriously or fatally injured due to violence.
   Domestic violence has profound impacts on women and children. It covers all ethnic races and economic levels. I am very proud to state that the community is changing in a positive manner to deal with domestic violence. New people and new ideas help the community respond to domestic violence.
   Within the past 10 years, local agencies have committed to working in a cooperative manner. More local training is being provided to local law enforcement officers as well as other community partners.
   Public awareness has increased and the Domestic Task Force has taken the lead role in coordinating efforts within the community.
   We encourage all members of the community to help reduce violence in our communities. This can be done by helping friends, family or coworkers to seek assistance when they are abused. This can also occur by encouraging others to get help and get out of abusive relationships.
   Community members can also get involved by volunteering their time with victim's advocate groups such as COBRA, Jefferson County Victim's Assistance Office, Warm Springs Victims of Crime Office, or the Jefferson County Domestic Violence Task Force.
   We appreciate all of the people who have helped us within the past year. We look forward to finding and working with new people who are willing to share their valuable time, skills and experiences to help us build stronger communities by reducing violence in the home.
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