A report on CBS’ “Early Show” today takes a look at orders of protection, known as restraining orders. The restraining orders sometimes do little to protect the women that have them issued, the report says.
Though the story centers around a 2-year-old murder case from Long Island, NY, part of the piece takes a look at how San Diego fights domestic violence.
In San Diego, a unique program has had remarkable success at lowering instances of domestic violence.
Reads the transcript of the story on the show’s website. Here’s more:
Every person who has received a protective order since the program’s inception in 2002 is alive and thriving.
The San Diego Family Justice Center is the brainchild of former county prosecutor Casey Gwinn and his colleague, Gael Strack.
The idea behind the center is to pool together all the resources for domestic violence victims under one roof, so victims can go to one place for help.
For example, most police departments have a domestic violence unit, and that unit in San Diego is housed at the Family Justice Center, along with appropriate medical and legal personnel.
Another key to the center’s success is that it conducts a danger assessment for every client. The assessment is then used to help the client establish a personal safety plan, something that, experts say, might have helped Merline Port-Louis.
According to statistics I requested from the SDPD a couple of weeks ago, domestic violence figures have been steadily dropping in San Diego for the last few years. San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne has frequently praised the work of the Family Justice Center and has hailed it as a national model.
Looks like CBS agrees.