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Domestic Violence Reduction Unit Description
The Domestic Violence Reduction Unit is a unique collaboration between the Portland Police Bureau, the Multnomah County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Volunteers of America, Raphael House, El Programa Hispano, and other important community partners.
This partnership between the Portland Police Bureau and the participating community-based domestic violence agencies is central to the Domestic Violence Reduction Unit. Having victim advocates co-located with police officers increases resources for victims. There are three primary benefits to this model: enhanced focus of victim safety, confidential advocacy services, and institutionalization of community partnerships. The victim advocates are also in a unique position to address the barriers which victims face when negotiating their way through domestic violence situations. This type of support is critical to ensure that victim safety remains the priority.
The victim advocates and police officers work in a team fashion. Together, they review and select cases, make contacts with abuse survivors, conduct detailed interviews, assess enforcement options, and offer advocacy services.
Victim advocates work with clients referred via the restraining order process, police reports, and community partners. Primary services provided by advocates include making in-person contact with victims, offering safety planning, providing information & referrals, assisting with problem solving, providing transportation and accompaniment to court hearings, facilitating access to other social services, and providing emotional support.
Specially trained Portland Police Officers review and follow up on reported incidents of domestic violence. Their responsibilities include reviewing reports from the initial responding officers, assessing each case in order to prioritize incidents requiring follow-up investigation, making attempts to contact the victims and witnesses to obtain additional information, providing referrals to victims for appropriate services, and attempting to contact and arrest perpetrators of domestic violence. When the legal requirements are satisfied, officers refer cases to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office and/or the United States Attorney’s Office for review and prosecution.
Domestic Violence Victim’s Resource Manual
Podcast about the Domestic Violence Reduction Unit