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New plan introduced to prevent domestic violence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Domestic Violence Network has been helping victims in Indy for 20 years, but its new initiative “Intersections” addresses an aspect of the crime that often goes ignored.

“This one’s very unique because it really starts to look at the root cause of domestic violence,” Domestic Violence Network Exec. Director, Kelly McBride said.

The non-profit has identified six root causes that they’ll tackle one by one over the next three years.

“The interrelationship between crime and substance abuse, crime and addictions, crime and mental illness,” Indianapolis Mayor, Joe Hogsett said.

The plan has the support of Mayor Hogsett.

He said it’s parallel to the city’s recent efforts to fight crime starting with prevention.

“They have already reached out to those of us in city government to talk about what they want to focus on in the next three years and how that walks hand-in-hand with what we’re trying to do in criminal justice reform generally,” he said.

“It’s going to bring together different social service agencies that you wouldn’t typically think are working with domestic violence victims,” McBride said.

Agencies like Prevail which is helping victims with financial and legal aid.

Oftentimes people don’t leave abusive relationships because they would end up without money or a place to live.

“Financial control is such a big dynamic in domestic violence that just because there’s money in the house doesn’t mean that both partners have equal access to that money or those financial resources,” Exec. Dir. of Prevail, Susan Ferguson said.

They hope in the next three years as this plan unfolds, Indianapolis will be one step closer to eliminating domestic violence.

“With one in three women and one in seven men being a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime, learning how to recognize and respond to domestic violence is going to make our entire community healthier,” McBride said.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can call 2-1-1 or the statewide hotline 800-332-7385.

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