New Effort Underway To Help Tulsa Victims Of Domestic Violence
TULSA, Oklahoma - There’s a new effort to help victims of domestic violence in Tulsa that came out of a police officer’s visit to Israel.
The Family Safety Center is always busy with victims of abusive relationships. It’s almost a one-stop shop for people in need - if children come with a parent there's a place and a person ready to care for them. If they need medical care the room is ready.
But now they are putting a new emphasis on strangulation, which even some survivors don't think is that serious, but police are warning otherwise.
“It's a lot more dangerous than people think it is as far as long-term effects. If not that person dying right then there are long-term injuries, like brain injuries and strokes,” said Sergeant Clay Asbill with the Tulsa Police Domestic Violence Unit.
Asbill was part of a recent study trip to Israel - in part to look at domestic violence solutions there.
He's hoping to bring in victim advocates from the district attorney's office to work alongside the detectives and advocates there.
“One thing we're hoping is that the victims will be more comfortable during the process,” Asbill said.
Suzann Stewart, director of the Family Safety Center, said the new emphasis on strangulation extends to follow up calls because the bruising may not show up for several days.
“The victim advocates will follow up and encourage them, if they haven't been photographed, to come in and have a forensic documentation done, an assessment done,” she said.
That's important for a legal case, but the first priority is to make sure the victim is safe, even if they don't want to pursue charges, which police say isn’t uncommon.
That’s one reason they’re emphasizing the dangers of strangulation, to make sure victims know their life is at risk.