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Domestic violence responders partner with Huntsville Police Dept. to help victims

Home is where you should feel safe. However, 10 million people are abused by their intimate partners every year in the U.S. That’s why the Huntsville Poli...

Home is where you should feel safe. However, 10 million people are abused by their intimate partners every year in the U.S. That’s why the Huntsville Police Department is teaming up with a local advocacy group to get victims the help they need.

HPD and the Crisis Services of North Alabama have joined forces to give victims the resources they need by providing a domestic violence responder.

DV responders work and ride with law enforcement officers when they respond to domestic violence-related calls.

“It gives us that opportunity as advocates to be there at that immediate trauma,” said Domestic Violence Response Coordinator for the Crisis Services of North Alabama, Joleen Heckman.

Heckman says the biggest priority is to get victims help, and to give them a sense of security.

“….Someone that they can hold on to, hug, hold their hand when they’re working with law enforcement,” she said.

“Generally we have at least one DV responder if not more on all sides of town during the shifts so that program has been very successful with helping officers get to a call and get victims the resources that they need in addition to handling the criminal justice side of events on these calls,” said HPD Public Information Officer Lt. Michael Johnson.

Heckman is calling on everyone to do their part, DV responder or not.

“Even if you are not a DV responder; As neighbors, as the community, you need to make sure to believe victims and to make sure that they feel that they can come and talk about it,” added Heckman.

The program has been in place for more than 22 years, and coordinators are always looking for volunteers.

The number for the Crisis Services of North Alabama “Crisis Text Line” is (256)-722-8219.

If you, or anyone you know is in need of suicide crisis prevention, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1(800)-273-TALK. 

You can also receive local assistance from Crisis Services of North Alabama using their 24/7 HELPline at (256) 716-1000. 

Here’s a list of resources available if you or a loved one is thinking about taking their own life: