Fresno County officials hope to receive grant to curb rise in domestic violence

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Domestic violence calls for service are up year to year at the Fresno County Sheriff's Office nearly 10 percent. So, officials say the help is needed. (KFSN)

Fresno County leaders are expected to approve a grant that would put another deputy in the domestic violence unit and add another victim's advocate to help victims.

Domestic violence calls for service are up year to year at the Fresno County Sheriff's Office nearly 10 percent. So, officials say the help is needed.

A grant from the Governor's office could help some of the most vulnerable victims, by adding another Fresno County Sheriff's deputy to help answer calls and heavy case loads from those suffering from violence in the home.

"We want to be proactive," Fresno County supervisor Henry Perea said. "We want to make sure our folks are on the ground working with rape counseling and other agencies that one, we're educating folks at the front end, but if there are victims of domestic violence that we immediately have services for them to protect them and their families."

The cost of a deputy and victim's advocate is about $252,000 dollars a year for three years. The grant is about $180,000 and the county is expected to cover about $70,000.

Perea says the program is important because it works to immediately address the criminal investigation and provides a coordinated effort to initiate counseling and intervention for the victims.

"What we do know is domestic violence has gone up some in Fresno County, but as we roll into the warmer months, we always see that there is a spike in domestic violence because of the heat," Perea explained.

In the county, domestic violence cases are on the rise. In 2014, deputies responded to 864 domestic violence related calls, compared to 945 in 2015.

Sheriff's officials say these numbers don't include the significant number of domestic violence incidents that go unreported each year due to fear.
Related Topics:
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