More help will be available for victims of domestic violence thanks to a multi-million-dollar grant from the Justice Department.
The City of Tulsa, local non-profits, and several tribes will share $8,000,000, which will allow those involved in the fight against domestic violence to come together like never before in getting justice for victims.
"I'm really excited about the possibilities this funding will give," district court judge Kelly Greenough said. Judge Greenough said the money will allow her to have a special docket for domestic assault cases involving strangulation.
"So far domestic assault and battery by strangulation has made up approximately 50% of our docket in 2019 and 2020," Greenough said. "We believe we may be the only court in the country that's going to do any specialized dockets around strangulation cases in particular."
Judge Greenough said they will receive about half a million dollars of the funding, which will also add a new program to document domestic assaults with firearms.
"That's been a piece that's been missing. We haven't had the ability really to really document that thoroughly so it could be used elsewhere," Greenough said.
U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said his office gets the cases when a firearm is used. He said if their office knows about those cases, they can protect victims even better.
"What we see with domestic violence cases that involve firearms is that those bruises escalate into bullets," Shores said. "So, any opportunity we can remove the abuser or that firearm from the house then that person illegally possesses, we're going to do that, because that's going to save a life."
Shoes, Brian Kuester, and Tim Downing shared the news about the grant in Tulsa today . They said the funding will go to city, county, and state agencies, non-profits as well as investigators. The city of Tulsa will get $750,000 of the $8 million. Tribes including the Cherokee. Choctaw, and Chickasaw Nations will also get funding.
Suzann Stewart with Family Safety Center applied for the grant and was amazed how large the grant was.
"We're having to change how we deliver service we're having to change environment in which we deliver services and so being able to continue programming at this level is an absolute joy and an absolutely treat for us, and we're forever grateful for these funds from the Department of Justice," said Stewart.
Stewart said she believes it's the largest grant of its kind ever received by the state.