Hollywood Police Department and Women In Distress have had a long standing partnership in holding batterers accountable and helping survivors of domestic violence. In 2015, HPD took the partnership one step further by creating the Offender Focused Domestic Violence Initiative Program. It’s the first of its kind in Florida and the goal is to identify the individuals with the most repetitive and violent offenses. They compile the names in a database and try to take action before the offender strikes again.
This program helped identify Katrina’s husband.
Partnering with Women In Distress’ Intimate Violence Enhanced Service Team (InVEST), the two agencies were able to create a safety plan to help Katrina and her son leave their home. Together, they arranged for the survivors to meet at a place where Katrina was able to go without her husband. When the two arrived, they escaped out a back door and into an awaiting HPD cruiser, from there, they were brought Women In Distress.
Katrina and her son stayed with Women In Distress for 8 weeks. During this time, they received counseling and therapy support, assistance with filing restraining orders, career services support, and a safe place to start rebuilding their lives. Women In Distress helped Katrina relocate out of state, find an apartment with family, and gain employment. They also connected them with another domestic violence center so that they may continue on their path from victim to survivor.
This is just one example of how partnerships save lives. “Thank You” to all of our law enforcement partners. You are making a difference every day.
*For the safety of our survivor, names have been changed and stock images used
24-HOUR CRISIS HOTLINE
Women In Distress operates a 24-hour crisis hotline (954-761-1133) that provides crisis intervention, advocacy services, counseling and information on domestic violence. The hotline is staffed by trained advocates and volunteers who focus on helping callers.
They have operators available to answer calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 3 languages (English, Spanish, and Creole).