Sunday, March 9 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:54:31 GMT
An 18-year-old girl is dead after her car struck a tree in west Toledo late Sunday afternoon. Toledo Police say Theresa Brazzel was driving northbound on Richards Rd. when she drove off the right sideMore >>
Toledo Police say Theresa Brazzel was driving northbound on Richards Rd. when she drove off the right side of the roadway and struck a large tree.More >>
On Wednesday, community leaders came together to learn about a new tool that can help victims assess how much danger they're in and stop cases before they turn deadly. The Lucas County Prosecutor's Office hosted two, free training sessions on the Danger Assessment Instrument in an effort to fight local domestic violence cases.
Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, a national leader in research and advocacy in the field of domestic violence, developed the Danger Assessment Instrument. This valuable tool helps determine the amount of danger an abused woman faces and the likeliness she may be killed by her intimate partner. The method was originally developed by Campbell with consultation and content validity support from battered women, shelter workers, law enforcement officials, and other clinical experts on battering.
Gerber's death, along with other domestic violence cases in the area, have local leaders desperately looking for change.
"The cases that we have seen of late, it seems almost like an explosion. We have cases every single week," said Prosecutor Julia Bates. "We need to do as much as we can to educate people and try to prevent this."
Bates helped organize a special training event Wednesday so community leaders could learn how to offer support for victims. She says the more people who learn to use the Danger Assessment Instrument, the better.
"Judges, prosecutors, police officers - we deal with this every day, but getting people from the church, getting people from nonprofits here to understand what the situation is, what the problems are, what the solutions might be - that's great," said Bates.
That's why people like Pastor Glenn Lewis are getting involved.
"People come to church. They're usually looking pretty happy, but maybe there's an undercurrent. We'd like to find out: Is it really there and what can we do to help take care of it?" explained Lewis.
Bates is determined to take a proactive approach to the increasing number of domestic violence cases in the Glass City and hopes initiatives like this will help prevent another tragedy.
"The time has come to take a strong stance against domestic violence," said Bates. "The more knowledge our prosecutors and victim advocates can gain, the better able we will be to detect a life-threatening situation and take all necessary action within our power."