Posted on February 12, 2019

Friends of the Badge

Collaborative Community Effort in Action

Imagine you are a survivor of domestic violence and in need of help. You're scared, embarrassed, and don't even know where to start. How do you know who you can trust? How do you know that if you leave you will be able to keep yourself safe? What if your abuser tries to get custody of your children? If you do come forward, will anyone believe you?

These questions and fears are exactly why the collaboration between law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and Friends of the Family is INCREDIBLY important. The way to truly keep victims safe, and hold abusers accountable, is through a collaborative community effort. At Friends of the Family, we are proud to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault on their way to safety, hope, healing, and justice, and help prevent these crimes through community education. But we cannot do it alone. Every program that we have is enhanced and made more effective by the actions of others to stand up for victims whenever possible. This includes law enforcement, attorneys and judges in the criminal justice system, school districts, political representatives, and more.

So what does collaborative community effort look like? It looks like the police officer that keeps DCFOF pamphlets in their car to hand out to any domestic violence victim they come across, whether they are ready to press charges against the abuser or not. It looks like the CPS worker who instead of finding fault with the victim parent for staying in the abusive relationship, supported that parent by referring them to DCFOF and holding the abuser accountable for the unsafe situation. It looks like a judge ordering mandatory BIPP classes (Battering Intervention and Prevention Program) for any abuser that comes across his docket. It looks like the school counselors across the County that schedule our community educators to come out and speak to kids about warning signs and preventing violence. It looks like the local attorney who refers potential victims to DCFOF for support every chance that they can. It looks like local churches and community organizations coming together and asking how they can help support victims in our community.

All of these things are happening in our community and it makes a HUGE impact! These actions, as small as they may seem, are what make a collaborative community effort to support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in our community. We may have a shelter and a whole host of programs, but we can only make it so far on our own. We need you!

This is why we host the annual Friends of the Badge luncheon. One of the most important parts of our community collaboration is with our first responders, law enforcement, and the criminal justice team who see victims and perpetrators every day. It is within your power to continue to change the way our community handles these cases, and we are very grateful that you choose to partner with us to make our community one of safety and empathy. This is our chance to say thank you for everything that you do for our clients every day. You make a difference!

We are in need of sponsors to make this event happen! We want to give a big SHOUT OUT to Coker, Robb, & Cannon for being our title sponsor of Friends of the Badge this year! Click below learn more about sponsorship and how to be a part of this collaborative community effort.

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Questions? Email KShields@dcfof.org

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