Insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
“The Victim doesn’t have to take responsibility for the victim’s behavior.” Anonymous Victim
We do not have to be a German physicist to know the wisdom and the insanity of the first quote. The second quote is indeed foreign and not without controversy, as it doesn’t fit the status quo.
I submit to you that 49 States in the U.S. have continued the insanity of perpetuating intimate partner violence using the same old “tried and mostly failed methods,” including lack of judicial and law enforcement communication, AND placing blame and responsibility on the victim, time and time again such that it hurts her/him over and over and over again!
The how and why consists of apathy, desensitization to violence and not holding offenders accountable at any level, such that they know exactly “how to work the system.” It is a vicious cycle with few making it out with any sense of self, dignity, or humanity.
A light at the end of the tunnel was forged by a very insightful Police Chief named Marty Sumner, overseeing the medium-sized city (154,000) of High Point North Carolina. Beginning in 2009, Chief Sumner wanted to address the most troublesome problem in his community, of repeat offenders perpetrating verbal and physical abuse on their partners, “running through the judicial mill like a mouse on and wheel” and, at times, escalating to homicide. His community deserved far better. But, how to do it? Consulting with Professor David M. Kennedy, Director for the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. In fact the centerpiece of this model which came to be known as the High Point Model, stemmed from a paper called “Deterrence and Crime Prevention: Reconsidering the Prospect of Sanction.
With the able assistance of researchers from the University of North Carolina and team members in High Point at every level, consisting of law enforcement, victim advocates, prosecutors, nurses, social workers, victims and others , they have seen amazing results. They have totally revolutionized the system by at its essence making offenders versus victims responsible for the follow-up that comes after abuse giving advanced notice with harsh consequences and zero tolerance levels while prosecuting batterers for other offenses along the way as part of the process.
Consider this :
1) Re-arrest rates In the first two years of implementation re-offense rates using this deterrence program were only 9% per 1.000 + perpetrators as compared tov a 20-34% range typically found elsewhere.
2) In High Pont, since 2009, homicide rated dropped from 33% to 6 % (1 in 16) which were IPV related using the deterrence program.
It was an illuminating experience to have the opportunity to interview Chief Sumner and his colleague Victim Advocate, Shay Harger of the Piedmont Family Services in Guilford Count , N.C. This program compliments the Victim based Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit- EAA conceived and created by the late Susan Murphy- Milano.
Listen to Podcast
- Intimate Partner Violence PSA’s by Amy Robinson
- The evolution of the High Point Model- a deterrence regime
- The Victim’s Point of View and an intimate partner’s journey without the deterrence program
- Protective Orders, contact and reality
- ExpIaining the components and “what happens after the first call”
- Notification letters – A model from Hudderfied England
- Number one call for service and how it plays out in time, phone calls and less serious crimes
- The cycle of violence – “A family of origin “– Desensitization
- “If he’s doing this in public, what is he doing at home?”
- Susan Herman, Victim Advocate and Author
- Community Involvement: “Continued Contact”
- Continuous training including Lexington Police – North Carolina
- Victim advocates need to partner with all community partners
- Contact Chief Marty Sumner: firstname.lastname@example.org
Selected Questions from the “Interrogation Room
- Can they protect victim’s safety by really controlling the offender?
- What were the “excuses” and why did they persist?
- What responsibilities do victims have using the deterrence program?
- How do they get the message across using additional charges and police monitoring?
- Which charges count with the “Al Capone Treatment?”
- Can violence be deterred by “face to face “messages?
- What is meant by “meeting them where they are”?
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