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JPD: Domestic Violence Homicides Decrease

By Heather Mathis
By hmathis@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON Tenn.- Jackson Police said they have seen a significant decrease in domestic violence related homicides since the start of its Domestic Violence Unit.

The unit began in late 2009, after officials said they needed to handle domestic abuse cases differently.

"Unless there was significant injury there was no follow up, and that's what we were trying to correct," said Sgt. Deborah Stanfill, with JPD'S
Domestic Violence Unit.

In the five years before the unit was established, there were 11 homicides linked to domestic violence. Officials said in the four years since the Domestic Violence Unit began, there has only been one domestic-related homicide.

The unit also works closely with The Wo/Men's Resource and Rape Assistance Program (WRAP) to give the victim a support system before their situation becomes deadly.

"It's vital because these women have been isolated and they don't know what services are out there," said Calista Joyce, program manager for WRAP.

Officials said they cannot solely credit the Domestic Violence Unit for the decrease, but they believe it has had a significant impact.