Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

100307 October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

100307 October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

New Programs, Activities Planned for October

    Boise, Oct. 3, 2007 – Boise Police Chief Michael Masterson gathered community partners together today to increase awareness of domestic violence in our community and to spread the word about programs meant to decrease incidents of family violence.

Crime Stats:

    During a media briefing, Chief Masterson revealed the latest crime statistics that show:

  • Boise Police have more felony domestic violence cases so far this year than in any of the previous three years. 

        Jan - August 31st, 2007 = 48 felony DV cases

        2006 = 32

        2005 = 41

        2004 - 47
 

  • 7 of Boise’s 9 homicide cases so far this year are also connected to domestic violence.

Shelter, Crisis Line Stats:

    The following comes from the Women's and Children's Alliance (WCA) of Boise:

  • Sheltered more than 1,000 people fleeing domestic violence over the last 3 years.
  • More than 560 children fleeing dv have been sheltered over the past 3 years with the WCA.
  • 42% increase in dv related calls came into the WCA crisis line in 2006.

     “Domestic Violence can harm families in every neighborhood, in every city,” said Chief Masterson. “The statistics show violence is a very real issue that many families struggle with. The difference in Boise is the community response to help victims and to help stop what so often is a cycle of family violence.”
      Boise Police patrol cars will once again display purple magnetic ribbons throughout the month of October as a message to the community of support for victims of domestic violence. The ribbons are provided courtesy of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Additional Investigative, Victims Services at FACES:

    Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower announced the receipt of a new Department of Justice grant, administered through the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.  The grant will support key elements of the new Ada County Family Justice Center, known as the Family Advocacy Center and Education Services (FACES).  

    "These programs will help us do what we must do in this community to keep the most people alive as they struggle through a very difficult time in their lives," said Bower.

    FACES opened in July 2006 to coordinate the criminal justice response to domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as child abuse, within Ada County and participating jurisdictions.  Ada County was funded $386,724 over two years to support the following activities at FACES:

1)         Funding to support a .50 FTE Client Services Coordinator position for 24 months to coordinate victim access to appropriate domestic violence and sexual assault services within FACES. $47,969 funded.

2)         Funding to allow Ada County Sheriff’s Office to hire a full-time, senior deputy for 24 months to conduct investigations of domestic violence crimes.  This position will be based from the ACSO office space at FACES.  $174,944 funded.

3)         Funding to assist Boise City Attorney’s Office to implement a Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Case Orientation Program at FACES.  Boise City will hire a part-time prosecutor and a part-time Victim Witness Coordinator for 24 months, both of whom will work primarily from FACES.  $131,811 funded.

4)         Funding to provide training to the agencies participating in the FACES partnership $15,000 funded.

5)         Funding for the Women’s and Children’s Alliance, our non-profit victim advocacy center,  to provide training to FACES law enforcement partner agencies on responding to domestic violence and sexual assault crimes. $17,000 funded.

Housing for Domestic Violence Victim

    Deanna Watson, Director of the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority announced another program, also funded by a federal grant, to provide housing assistance to victims fleeing domestic violence.

    "The need for coordinated services in Southwest Idaho is great," said Watson. "We view this as a start for our community response to help domestic violence victims find safety and balance in their lives."

    The program is a partnership between FACES, the Housing Authority and the Women's and Children's Alliance (WCA). The $255,000 grant will provide assistance for at least 15 families and a half-time case manager through the WCA. The case manager will be based at FACES.

Education and Awareness Programs aim to get citizens attention in October:

    Men Today, Men Tomorrow, a program housed under the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence is sponsoring several domestic violence awareness campaigns through October. Men Today, Men Tomorrow strives to end men's violence by promoting positive male behaviors and challenging beliefs that perpetuate violence in Idaho.

    Jeff Matsushita, Director of Men Today, Men Tomorrow announced a statewide poster campaign meant to focus attention on the language used by many when discussing domestic violence. The poster campaign aims to focus language on the offender and not question the victim. The posters will be displayed at businesses throughout October in cities all over Idaho, including Boise.

    "We believe it's men's role to stand up and speak out against domestic violence," said Matsushita.

    Matsushita also had Chief Masterson and Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower sign pledges as part of an education campaign called "These Hands Don't Hurt". Men will be able to sign the pledge at an event set for Boise City Hall Plaza Oct. 27th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Men Today, Men Tomorrow is also sponsoring training on strategies men and women can use to prevent violence. To sign up for the training call 384-0419 or log onto their web site at www.mentodayidaho.org.

    Bev LaChance from the WCA announced the continuation of a creative yet effective education program on domestic violence, the Clothesline Project. The Clothesline Project is a visual display of art created on t-shirts by survivors of physical, sexual and emotional abuse meant to express their stories of abuse and survival. The t-shirts can be displayed at local businesses. They can also be viewed at an event planned for the Boise State University, also sponsored by the Boise State Women's Center at the Quad Oct. 4th & 5th.

Contacts for more on the above programs:

Kevin McTeague, Exec. Dir, FACES 577-4411

Jeff Matsushita, Men Today, Men Tomorrow 384-0419

Bev LaChance, WCA 343-3688 x22