Friday, June 7, 2013

Guest blog by Ellen Greenberg Jacob, City of Independence Domestic Violence Prosecutor

As a domestic violence prosecutor, I’m pleased to help assault victims and am encouraged when victims tell me I've impacted their lives in a positive way.

Recently I was acknowledged by a woman I worked with years ago—along with the Judge, detective, and Hope House advocate—in the book she wrote about her abusive marriage. I was touched by her words and reminded of the rewarding nature of this work.

I hope victims are not intimidated by the court process. Advocates are available to take statements and many people find court less formal than expected. I’m happy to discuss the many possible outcomes of cases with victims either by phone or appointment.

Plea offers can be tailored to individual circumstances. There are different types of probations which may include conditions such as no contact, batterers programs, alcohol and drug outpatient testing and treatment, along with a variety of other options. All probations can be revoked if the defendant fails to provide successful completion. Also, jail time is always a potential penalty.  

Diversion programs can be utilized too. We now have access to the Jackson County Mental Health Court as long as the defendant resides in the county.

Sometimes victims don’t want the defendant prosecuted. The victim is considered the witness in the case and it’s not their case to drop. I hope victims understand this is designed for their protection and rely on the support that is provided by Hope House.

I am in awe of the attitude presented by Hope House. I see them always treat their clients respectfully and with open hearts. Their sense of service is inspirational. I am very grateful for them.

Ellen Greenberg Jacobs
City of Independence Domestic Violence Prosecutor

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