JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and one local collaboration is making sure actions of empowerment are more than just words.
The Johnson City Police Department and RISE, a group that helps victims of domestic violence, were recently awarded a federal grant to fund a new advocate that would serve as a liason between the two groups and be specifically focused on domestic violence cases.
RISE’s executive director said she believes this new partnership creates exciting possibilities.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve services for domestic violence survivors, and we saw this opportunity and thought this would be an amazing collaboration between us and the Johnson City Police Department and really improve services for survivors,” said Nicole Barren, who told 12 News she’s passionate about her work because of the changes it can spark in victims.
Johnson City Police Chief Brent Dodge said his department responded to more than 860 domestic violence incidents last year, and the problem has continued to grow despite additional focus.
The grant is funded by the federal Department of Justice, and is one of only 80 given out across the entire country. Barren wrote the vast majority of the grant, and was assisted by the police department and the Village of Johnson City in obtaining the funding.