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In light of the recent murder/suicide on Glen Oak Drive on Dec. 31, 2022, the Danville Police Department is highlighting Project B.R.A.V.E. and the work to reduce domestic violence incidents in the city. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, dial 911, investigations at 434-799-6508, approach an officer, email firstname.lastname@example.org, message the department through social media or or use our crime tips app CARE at https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=818#.
After implementing Project B.R.A.V.E. (Bringing Resources After ViolencE) in May 2022, the Danville Police Department has experienced successes and overall improvement within the Danville community when answering domestic violence calls.
Because domestic violence is one of the most dangerous calls for service in addition to draining resources, the police department took a different approach in an officer’s response to those calls. The program has enhanced an officer’s ability to recognize and bring awareness to domestic violence, improve the resources available in the city for victims, decrease the number of victims and improve the community as a whole.
In 2022, the department had 421 domestic assault reports, compared to 425 in 2021.
When an officer responds to a domestic violence call, the victim is given a danger assessment and offered resources on scene. The danger assessment is then scored again and given a BRAVE score which identifies which tier they are in. If a victim falls into tier 1, they are visited in person by representatives from Project BRAVE where they can ask questions and get further information on resources that are available in the community.
“Each situation is different, and how we respond to those victims can vary. It could be anything, for example, from a mother whose life is in danger and her children threatened, to an ex-spouse or lover that is now the victim of physical harm. Those are the ones that are in the most danger of being killed or harmed by their partner, and who we aim to help through BRAVE,” said Danville Police Investigator B.R. Bidgood.
In 2022, one victim that was considered tier 1, and high-danger, scored a 122 and immediately received a response from local law enforcement in addition to Haven of the Dan River Region and victim/witness services from the Danville Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Because of the resources and information the victim was able to receive, in addition to support from the Commonwealth Attorney‘s office, they have not had another domestic violence incident since June 2022 after have one earlier that year, and another in 2021.
Haven is involved with all tiers of the program, and victims are able to talk directly with a counselor on scene instead of waiting days later to connect them with resources.
Currently, 64 victims are identified as high danger, with five of those victims considered tier 1. In all, 20 victims have at some point been classified as tier 1, and all have been grateful for the services they have received as a result of Project B.R.A.V.E.