Federal Dollars to Boost Contra Costa County’s Response to Interpersonal Violence

Tish GallegosNews Releases

DOJ Grant Provides Critical Anti-violence Funding for Project Led by Alliance to End Abuse

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Martinez, Calif. (September 12, 2018) – The Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women has awarded $32 million to improve the criminal justice response to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Among the 54 nationally awarded grants, the Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department (EHSD) received nearly $1 million. EHSD will use this funding over the next three years to strengthen critical victim services, judicial handling and law enforcement response, as well as to deepen its cross-sector community partnerships throughout the county.

“This funding will allow us to expand services into East County, improve risk assessment protocols and policy for law enforcement and engage more culturally relevant services,” explained Alex Madsen of the Contra Costa Alliance to End Abuse. “We look forward to further strengthening the work and innovations of our partners.”

The Alliance to End Abuse, an initiative of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors that EHSD oversees, will manage the funding and lead the project associated with the grant. For almost two decades, the Alliance has supported and advocated for improved system response to issues domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking. The Alliance’s approach includes strengthening systems, building partnerships and educating professionals and the community.

Through the Alliance, Contra Costa County has achieved significant and coordinated progress in assisting victims of violence, raising awareness, and holding offenders accountable. The Alliance pilots, supports and coordinates a wide variety of activities and services focused on interpersonal
violence including: Family Justice Centers in West and Central County that provide one-stop service for victims and their families through 38 on-site partners; a specialized domestic violence court; supervision of domestic violence offenders; facilitating high-risk case review teams; a train- the-trainer program; and public awareness campaigns and outreach events. The Alliance also played a key role in launching, and continues to help lead the Contra Costa Human Trafficking Coalition, made up of 30 organizations and
agencies providing direct services to human trafficking victims.

Overcoming Service Gaps
While Contra Costa County is a true model of a coordinated response to violence against women and other
forms of interpersonal violence, the Alliance continues to address ongoing challenges. Due to the County’s
large size and the socioeconomic and racial/ethnic diversity, there remains a crucial need for sustaining and
adding more high quality services in existing and new locations (East County and rural areas); increasing
awareness and understanding, at the judicial level, of interpersonal violence, particularly risk assessment,
and intersections between different forms of violence; improving practice and protocols for law
enforcement’s handling of interpersonal violence cases; as well as improving policy and practice, and
enhancing coordination, among service partners who address various forms of interpersonal violence.

The grant will provide important updated law enforcement field guides; updated multi-disciplinary
complex case review protocols, forms and evaluation tools; adapted risk assessment tool and protocols; and
training material for judicial handling and assessing risk of Interpersonal Violence (IPV) cases.

County Partners
Grant implementation partners contribute services to and receive funding from the project. They are:
STAND! for Families Free of Violence, a community-based, comprehensive, multi-service agency for
domestic violence victims; Bay Area Legal Aid, a community-based legal services agency; Community
Violence Solutions
, a community-based agency that works to end sexual assault and human trafficking;
Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance, which manages two one-stop victim services centers in the
County; CCC Probation Department; and two culturally-specific victim services providers Narika, and
the Latina Center. Resource partners, providing critical in-kind support and resources are Superior Court
of CCC,
the Office of the District Attorney, and Concord, Pittsburg, and Richmond Police
and Rainbow Community Center.

The Alliance to End Abuse
Learn More about The Alliance to End Abuse and its Red Sands Project at https://vimeo.com/286217348.