CITY OF CLARKSVILLE, TN
Mayor Donald W. Trotter
 

Stop Violence Against Women Grant

Under a new federal Stop Violence Against Women grant awarded in June of 1997, the city of Clarksville plans to establish better training programs for law enforcement officers and prosecutors to more effectively identify and respond to violent crimes against women, including crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence. It is also a goal and objective of the 19th Judicial District to expand its units of law enforcement officers and prosecutors which would specifically target violent crimes against women. Specifically, the 19th Judicial District has set a goal to form the "19th Judicial District Domestic Violence Enforcement Unit" beginning with at least one officer from the Clarksville Police Department, one from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, one from the Robertson County Sheriff's Department and one from the Springfield Police Department. These officers will be specifically trained and designated to handle domestic violence and rape cases to include, but not limited to, domestic violence incidents such as: assaults -- simple and aggravated, incident elderly abuse, stalking, custodial interference, harassment, violations of protection orders, immediate response to victims at the hospital, and joint investigations with other elements of their respective departments or outside agencies. Likewise, this "Task Force" will help develop and implement more effective police and prosecution policies, protocols, orders and services specifically devoted to preventing, identifying and responding to violent crimes against women. These officers would work in conjunction with a specifically assigned Assistant District Attorney General, per county, along with an assistant victim-witness coordinator in the prosecution of these types of criminal offenses. They will likewise assist in developing, installing or expanding data collection in communication services, to include computerized systems which would link police, prosecutors and the courts together.

With the increased federal funding, the Homesafe Shelter in Robertson County will add an additional staff to ensure that victims have access to quality counseling and advocacy, and the United Methodist Urban Ministries Safehouse will establish a counselor who is bilingual to meet the ever-pressing needs and lack of communication problems that are faced by the Clarksville community.

In addition, the Rape and Sexual Abuse Center will expand their hospital accompaniment program to include:

  • Training materials, literature and video tapes and educational workshops for volunteers;

  • Program expansion to include victim advocacy for women victims of sexual assault;

  • Community awareness programs to inform the public about sexual assault in Montgomery County. These programs will include self-defense and prevention techniques for women, information about what to do after an assault occurs, acquaintance rape information, as well as general sexual assault information;

  • Literature given to sexual assault victims; and

  • Funding for a staff person who is responsible for maintaining the volunteer program. Currently this position is filled by a part-time therapist who donates their time and experience to this valuable project.

The Clarksville Juvenile Court system will also continue their school education programs, particularly identifying the early intervention and prevention services concerning the issues of domestic violence, and various sexual assaults.

CONTACT: District Attorney General John W. Carney, Jr., 19th Judicial District, 204 Franklin Street, Suite 300, Clarksville, TN 37040, Telephone - (615) 648-5721, Fax - (615) 553-5107.

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