(Cincinnati, OH) - Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced the formation of the “Crimes of Violence Against Women and Children” unit.
Deters says the team will review and screen criminal cases where women, children and domestic partners are victims. It will be led by veteran Assistant Prosecutor Stacey DeGraffenreid and will include other assistant prosecutors from all divisions in the prosecutor's office, as well as a victim advocate and investigator. Deters says prosecutors from this unit will also be available 24/7 for law enforcement consultation during the investigative phase of a case.
The prosecutor says the COVID-19 outbreak has shattered the traditional safety nets that identify and help women, children and domestic partners who are in danger. Deters says closed schools mean that schoolteachers are no longer seeing and reporting signs of abuse of their students. And he says work from home policies mean co-workers are no longer able to encourage abuse victims to get help. Stay at home orders, according to Deters, lead to abused women and children being forced to be with their abuser 24/7. Victims may feel like there is no way out.