TPD Works To Prevent Domestic Violence Deaths
TULSA, Oklahoma -
Tulsa Police are taking new steps to stop domestic violence before it turns deadly.
If a woman is strangled, she is seven times more likely to be killed later on by her partner and that's who TPD is now really targeting.
Not only are they continuing to put more suspects behind bars, but they've also continued to see their numbers of victims coming into the center go up since they started passing out domestic violence victim cards.
So now since they've got a good grasp on the Tulsa area, they've started to expand and partner with other area departments.
“Before, what would happen is a lot of times officers would go to a call if a victim said they’ve been strangled and they didn’t have visible injuries, they would just take a report and that would be about it,” said Sergeant Clay Asbill with the Family Violence Unit.
Last year, there were 11 domestic homicides.
When Sergeant Clay Asbill took over the Family Violence Unit, he aimed to expand services to domestic strangulation victims so they didn't become another statistic.
“We first started having our advocate call victims regardless if they had any physical injuries or not because only 15% of victims have any kind of visible injuries,” said Asbill.
So far this year, the Tulsa Police Department forensic nurse has checked more than 200 victims at TPD's Family Safety Center. The nurse is able to check victims out for various injuries.
“That’s one of the things with non-fatal strangulation, you can have strokes, brain damage, long-term effects that I think in the past, law enforcement, in general, has not caught,” Asbill said.
Now, Sergeant Asbill is working to expand his efforts. Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby and other area departments have said they would partner with TPD in this initiative.
“Whatever we do affects them and whatever they do affects us because we deal with a lot of the same victims and a lot of the same suspects,” said Asbill.
Because any way they can help prevents another person from becoming a statistic.
“We are swinging for the fences on this and that’s what we should be doing is trying to lower that,” Asbill said.
At the Family Safety Center, there is no cost for any service and they also have people on hand to help you if you need to fill out a protective order.