What is Domestic Violence
Domestic violence affects all people, crossing over ethnic, social, monetary, gender and age lines. It is a pattern of behavior used to exert power and control over another person through the use of fear, intimidation, violence, sexual assault or psychological attacks.
Until recently, society viewed domestic violence as a "family matter". It was the one type of violent assault which was ignored by society, giving the batterer a "legal right" to the victim. Statistics show that most violence is inflicted by men upon women.
Domestic violence is everyone's problem. Why? Because the victims can be your parent, child, sibling, friend, neighbor or even you. Domestic violence is far-reaching as it affects not only the victim, but other family members; especially children who witness the abuse.
The Purpose of DART
The Inver Grove Heights Department of Public Safety Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) was developed in response to a growing concern over the violence in the home and its impact on the community. The DART team assists in the investigation of cases of domestic violence, interacting closely with other officers, investigators, prosecutor, women's advocates, court, probation officers, and the community. Through this collaboration of effort, issues of domestic violence can be identified, the victim can be given the support and resources necessary and strong cases can be made to hold the batterer accountable.
DART team officers contact victims during the initial investigation, or shortly thereafter, to take additional photographs of injuries and property damage, and to assist victims with questions and concerns. In addition, a safety assessment is conducted that looks into each victim's domestic violence situation.
For cases involving an arrest, information is presented to the prosecuting attorney. In some cases, charges can be sought through the DART investigation that were not possible during the initial report. In other cases, DART officers may probe into reports of domestics in which no assault occurred, but the patrol officer(s) identified as a volatile situation that may progress into a physical assault in the future.
If You are a Victim
You can ask the city or county attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the rights to go to court and file a petition requesting an order of protection from domestic abuse which could include the following:
- An order directing the abuser to leave your household
- An order preventing the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment
For more information visit 360 Communities Violence Prevention website.