Friday, February 25, 2005

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Coalition Against Violence

I was asked in a comments thread about our county's Coalition. It meets once a month, and is comprised of all of the local law enforcement agencies, DA's office, County Attorney's office, Crisis Intervention Team, the Rape Crisis Center, the Women's Shelter, Crime Stoppers, the sexual Assault Nurses Team, MADD, local therapists, and yes concerned citizens. What do we do: Well a lot really a fair amount of public education; for example, during the last election cycle we had public debates for all local contested elections, with the area of questioning of course focusing on violent crime, crime victims, and the community. In April, which is sexual assault awareness month, we sponsor a watch your drink campaign; where a number of volunteers go into the local bars and place a tester/coaster by all unwatched/unattended drinks to raise awareness of date rape drugs. We also sponsor quarterly day training that offer continuing education credits in different service areas such as law enforcement, social work, counseling or drug and alcohol abuse counseling. Once every year we have a two day seminar on domestic violence and sexual assault for those in the area who work in the fields. While we are not an official lobbying organization, we do pay attention to bills in the legislature currently that effect domestic violence, sexual assault, violent crime victims, and drunk driving.