Updated 10/24/2012 06:31 PM
Pittsfield Police Department receives grant for domestic abuse victims
The Pittsfield Police Department has received a grant to help domestic abuse victims. Berkshire County reporter Madeleine Rivera tells what this means in a city with a high need for domestic violence services.
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- "The need far exceeds any of our resources," said Janis Broderick, Executive Director of the Elizabeth Freeman Center.
But the center and the Pittsfield Police Department are trying to support the city's victims of domestic abuse as best as it can.
The Pittsfield Police Department was given more than a $30,000 Violence Against Women Act Grant from the state's Office of Public Safety and Security. The money will be used to employ an advocate from the Elizabeth Freeman Center. The advocate acts a liaison between the police department and the victims and gives services that police can't always provide.
"One of these things that the police department constantly says is that they can go out there. The person may want help right at that moment, but once they leave, the victim's in danger again," said Broderick.
This is where the advocate steps in. She'll provide long term counseling to the victims in the hopes that they will escape the abuse once and for all. The counselor can offer advice on different things like income and protection for children.
"I like to think of it sometimes as juggling 10 balls at once and they're all coming down. And part of our role is to help that victim step back and one ball at a time to make it manageable," said Deborah Parkington, Programs Director for the Freeman center.
This isn't the first time that the Pittsfield Police Department has applied and been approved for this grant. But Broderick says the need for it is still very important. She says that the police department gets about 100 phone calls a month from domestic abuse victims.
"People always say the sooner the intervention, the better the results and that's really very true," said Broderick.
A spokesperson for the police department says they have to apply for the VAWA grant every year in order to receive it.