Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence in the City of Charlestown
Breaking the cycle of domestic violence is a commitment the City of Charlestown has made through increased awareness. As of October 2021, Charlestown announces it is a Zero Tolerance Domestic Violence city.
Purple lights will illuminate at City Hall during the month of October, bringing attention to National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The purple lights will recognize victims and support survivors.
“One of our top goals is to ensure the safety and security of our residents,” said Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges. “This zero tolerance policy helps us communicate that goal and lets victims of domestic violence know that they can feel safe reporting in Charlestown. It also holds abusers accountable by ensuring that any violations will be dealt with swiftly and to the full degree allowed by law.”
Domestic violence, as defined by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systemic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically.
Driven to break the cycle of domestic violence, the Zero Tolerance effort has many goals. The first is to understand if a person has an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) against them, the City of Charlestown Police Dept. will respond to protect victims. If one is not complying with an EPO, the police will enforce measures allowed by law.
“The Charlestown Police Department takes a strong stance against Domestic Violence,” said Charlestown Police Chief Tim Wolff. “Our goal is to assist victims and to arrest perpetrators of domestic violence when probable cause exists.”
Another goal is to break the cycle of domestic violence within families or groups. Adolescents in a home exposed to domestic violence need to learn they should never mirror the behaviors they have seen. Children who have seen physical abuse and emotional abuse need education to put an end to the pattern of unlawful behaviors.
“I appreciate the City of Charlestown’s commitment to ensuring that homes are safe places, through the implementation of the Zero Tolerance Domestic Violence Program,” said Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Jeremy Mull. “The establishment of this program sends the message that individuals will not be allowed to bully, batter, or terrorize members of their households. Such crimes of domestic violence traumatize the victims, traumatize the children who witness the crimes, and can lead to serious injury to or death of the victim.”
As a city, Charlestown also wants current and future residents to know it is a safe place to live.
“We want to make sure victims know it’s OK to report domestic violence and we will help them follow through with the help they may need in a crisis situation,” said Mayor Hodges.
The Charlestown Police Dept. has services and resources for those seeking help. As needed, officers will continue to offer updated literature via the area organizations: The Center for Women and Families, New Hope Services, and the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Links to each of those services and more is found on the homepage of www.CTownPD.com.
Adding Community Liaison Courtney Rodewig to Charlestown’s staff provides added support for those reaching out for help with various social service needs. Officers can encourage those in domestic situations to reach out to Rodewig for best next steps.
“It’s my hope that we can end the cycle of violence by talking openly about its impact, communicating and sharing available resources for help, and intervening when needed,” said Hodges.
Any man or woman, in the City of Charlestown, can feel safe to report domestic violence.