SPD adjusts how they respond to domestic violence calls

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 5 at 7:40 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.— Police are working with an advocacy group in Spokane to help prevent domestic violence.

On Tuesday night, a woman was stabbed in the head with a fork by her partner according to Spokane Police Department leaders. Officers said it it those kinds of attacks that can quickly escalate to murder. Officers said the Tuesday night attack is a prime example of why SPD”s lethality assessment program in partnership with the YWCA is so crucial to Spokane.

“It's very, very hard for domestic violence victims to come forward, stats show it takes an average of 7 very serious incidents,” said Crpl. Dave Adams.

SPD and advocates from the YWCA are teaming up to get domestic violence victims the help they desperately need.

On Wednesday, police said that officers will ask a series of questions to victims at every domestic violence call. They will use their answers to predict future risk, including their likelihood of being fatally attacked. The protocol change is effective immediately.

Advocates with the YWCA are also on call around the clock , and available to talk to the vicitm immediately following the trauma.

Officers used the new protocol Tuesday night when they responded to the fork attack according to SPD leaders.

“Our hope is when we go through this lethality assessment, using those words and asking those very serious questions, that it'll turn the light on and they'll say ‘I really am in danger.’ I really do need some help,” said Adams.

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