The Department of Health and Human Services recently held a training regarding sexual assault and domestic violence. The training was held at the Courtyard Marriott Salt River April 23.
Staff from Salt River Police Department, Social Services, Fatherhood program, Youth Services, Behavioral Health and interested individuals took part in the day long training held in the conference area of the hotel.
The first presenter was Prescott’s Chief of Police Jerold Monahan who spoke on the dynamics of domestic violence and sexual assault. Monahan discussed what domestic violence was, the patterns and behaviors in a relationship that are used to and or maintain control and power over one another.
The presenter went over many other ways a person goes through domestic violence such as physiological abuse, power and control, freedom of choice in relationships as well as showing the participants a video which was on a man who used isolation or family against the partner which was a form of emotional abuse.
Monahan discussed how the abused usually leave five to seven times before permanently leaving before being killed. He talked about how they fear over threats, harassment and most of the time leave in the most violent times of the relationship which usually is the most dangerous time and results in assaults. He discussed how in the year 2013 there were 125 domestic violence fatalities in the country.
Monahan talked about the domestic violence calls and how the police officers might treat the victims, “they may not understand the criminal process and may mistrust the system and when we do shallow work they may not want our help ever again in this situation,” said Monahan. “We need to remember to not interrogate the victim as if they too were the abuser.”
What do we [first responders] need to tell the victim:
* I am afraid for your safety
* I am afraid for the safety of your children
* It will only get worse
* There is help available
* You don’t deserve to be abused
He then went on to the next topic which was the dynamics of sexual assault, Monahan said the biggest change in many police departments have been the change of having law enforcement and victim advocate departments all working together as one group in hopes of discouraging sexual assault in communities throughout the united states and in our own Community
“Law Enforcement has not done a very good job. We were trying to take care of it alone and now we have help and can now hold the abuser longer which gives time for the victim to maneuver and make their escape,” said Monahan. “The goal is to make communities and victims safe.”
The next speaker was Doreen Nicholas of ACESDA (Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Abuse) she encouraged audience involvement by offering an activity called In Her Shoes. This is where participants would play a roll of an abused person who is seeking help and finding a way to get out of the relationship.
“The training went really well, we almost had 100 people at the training which was our goal,” said Vurlene Notsinneh-Bowekaty, Community Health Education in Domestic Violence. “A lot of people learned a lot and have general idea of what the topics were and overall enjoyed it.”
Notsinneh-Bowekaty discussed how the speakers such as morning presenter Monahan’s presentation was powerful and that everyone enjoyed it. “It was an eye opener for people who deal and see it every day especially the Youth Services Staff who got a better idea on what to look for in the kids each day and learned how to address them and those issues,” said Notsinneh-Bowekaty.
Other topics throughout the day were report writing and documentation of Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault by Community prosecutor Alane Breland. Another presentation was on identifying the predominant aggressor given by Jerold Monahan and a presentation on services provided for people in domestic violence situations within the Community.