Mayor Lorraine Morton

Domestic Violence Reduction Unit

Evanston's Domestic Violence Reduction Unit (DVRU) was established in November, 1995, to intervene in family violence situations, to break the cycle of violence and to prevent recurrence or escalation of family violence. Most importantly, DVRU works to assist victims in the initial steps needed to begin a violence-free life.

The DVRU consists of police detectives, social workers and advocates working together to give high priority to reports of domestic violence. The unit reviews reports of domestic violence on a daily basis as soon as possible after the reported incident. After reviewing the reports and talking with the victim, a determination is made of what additional follow-up investigation, if any, is needed. Follow-up includes pursuing of criminal prosecution, obtaining Orders of Protection and finding safe shelter for victims and families of domestic violence.

When reviewing cases, the DVRU pays special attention to those situations involving the following criteria:

  1. Cases where prior domestic violence has occurred;

  2. Cases where a weapon was involved or implied;

  3. Cases where children were present during the violence; and

  4. Cases referred to the unit by Patrol Operations.

In addition to conducting follow-up investigations of domestic violence related reports, DVRU is responsible for:

  1. Assisting complainants and officers in understanding their roles and services available;

  2. Support: counseling, shelter, safety and reassurance;

  3. Training of all new recruits on how to better handle domestic violence situations;

  4. In-service training for all officers;

  5. Public presentations to various groups within the community -- these presentations can increase public awareness of domestic violence and inform the public of the various programs and resources to assist in solving family problems.

The DVRU has one police investigator assigned to it, as well as 2 civilian advocates and one student intern actively involved in the program.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

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