Domestic Violence Court could be coming to Kent Co.
Kent County’s Domestic Violence Community Coordinated Response Team hopes to use the $4M in ARPA funding it received to bring a domestic violence court to the area. The specialized court would hold perpetrators accountable, while supporting victims and survivors.
The Kent County Board of Commissioners has awarded more than $108 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to 30 projects across the county.
One of the recipients is the Kent County Domestic Violence Community Coordinated Response Team (DVCCRT). The group was granted $4M to build up a Domestic Violence Action Network.
Tara Aday, Co-Chair of DVCCRT said the group’s initial proposal asked for $10M in funding. However, she tells WGVU the $4M is a great value, noting the groups current budget sits at just $1,000.
“We often have these really good ideas but we don’t have the money to bring it to fruition,” Aday explained.
Details of the action network are still being decided, but in an interview with WGVU Aday said one goal is to bring a specialized domestic violence court to Kent County, to hold perpetrators accountable and support victims and survivors. She also hopes to enhance and re-engage a community-based response to domestic violence reports.
“It’s a hard place to be in because it’s exciting to know that we might be able to try to finally do something different in our community, but it’s also so sad and heart breaking that we have lost so many lives, and so many lives have been ruined by domestic violence,” She said. “It took I think such an increase in severity of domestic violence unfortunately for community partners to listen, and now they are, so we’re running with that.”
Aday, who has been tracking domestic violence homicides through the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office, says rates have nearly doubled since last year.
DVCCRT says its working with its community partners to finalize and approach for these new dollars and make a sustaining impact.
Local domestic violence emergency services can be reached at:
YWCA West Central MI 616.451.2744
Safe Haven Ministries 616.452.6664