Utah Police Stand Up for Domestic Violence Victims

Utah Police Stand Up for Domestic Violence Victims

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Karen Scullin ReportingThe Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office gets four to five hundred calls per month related to domestic violence. As part of Domestic Violence Awareness month, for the first time various members of law enforcement in Utah decided to participate in a program that was started in Portland, Oregon.

Police say across the nation forty percent of emergency room visits are related to domestic violence. With that in mind, police in Portland started a program that takes one night to focus solely on people accused of domestic abuse. Utah now has joined that effort.

It's one of the most unreported crimes, but tonight police are standing up for victims of domestic violence.

Seventeen states, including Utah, are participating in a program that targets those people who have warrants related to domestic violence and child abuse.

Sgt. Marianne Suarez, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office: “We send a clear message to these perpetrators of domestic violence that they're not going to get away with it, and that we are going to go get them and put them in jail, and they're going to have to face the consequences of what they've done"

But what may be hard to understand is why so many of those arrested tonight were with the women police say they abused.

Mike Wingert, U.S. Marshals Service: “Probably seven, eight times out of ten, we will always find them with the victim again."

Sgt. Marianne Suarez: “I think it's the whole cycle of abuse. And these warrants, probably the actual situation took place a while back, so now they're in that phase where things are going pretty good."

But Sgt. Suarez says things usually go bad again. One man was wanted for allegedly punching and kicking the woman he lives with, and choking her eight year old son.

Sgt. Marianne Suarez: “I think that's the hardest part, is seeing the kids involved in the situation."

Mike Wingert: “That's probably one of the toughest things to do, when there are children involved and they have to see mom or dad get arrested. And unfortunately we see that all too often."

There are now seventeen states taking part in the effort and that number is expected to grow.

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