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InVEST

The Intimate Violence Enhanced Service Team (InVEST) is a coordinated community response effort intended to reduce the number of intimate partner homicides in each participating county in Florida. InVEST is designed to encourage local law enforcement agencies and their community partners to treat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking as serious violations of criminal law requiring the coordinated involvement of the entire criminal justice system. The certified domestic violence center and partnering law enforcement agency enter into a collaborative relationship to simultaneously increase the domestic violence services offered to survivors as well as perpetrator accountability throughout the criminal and civil justice process which includes engaging in daily collaborative reviews of police reports in order to determine high-risk domestic violence cases and to make contact with survivors to determine if they are interested in participating in the program. This partnership heavily relies on the commitment of certified domestic violence centers, law enforcement, and other allied partners to establish working relationships and procedures that can best contribute to the reduction of intimate partner homicides in their community. DVP trains all partners involved in the project including, but not limited to, domestic violence advocates, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and parole/probation officers to identify high-risk indicators for intimate partner homicide, investigations, and prosecutions of domestic violence perpetrators, and how to engage in survivor-centered practices to create communities of safety.

DVP recognizes that law enforcement officers play a critical role in responding to domestic violence calls. A victim’s initial contact with officers is more likely to occur after s/he has experienced multiple incidents of violence at the hands of the perpetrator. Historically, the criminal justice system’s involvement with victims and perpetrators began only after serious injury and after a pattern of abuse had been well established. Today, law enforcement officers have more tools than ever to enhance the safety of victims and to hold perpetrators accountable for their violence. DVP conducts an Advanced Law Enforcement Training series that emphasizes evidence-based prosecution and seeks to focus on the crime and its impact, without relying on the victim's participation in the prosecution. Evidence-based prosecution of domestic violence cases relies on gathering alternative forms of evidence including, but not limited to, excited utterances, photographs, 911 calls, and other important forms of evidence.

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