Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence in Six Communities: Beyond the Justice System. The San Diego County Domestic Violence Council


The San Diego DV Council includes over 200 members from agencies throughout the county that provide services to victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, the medical community, social services agencies, law enforcement, prosecutors offices, judges, and the military. The council functions through a network of 12 working subcommittees that cover a number of aspects of domestic violence, including law enforcement, shelter and support services, medical, legal action, child abuse/domestic violence collaboration, ethnic concerns, treatment and intervention, grants and data collection, education and prevention, and three geographical task forces (North County, South County, and East County). The subcommittees are all interdisciplinary. For example, the law enforcement subcommittee is not made up of just law enforcement personnel, but also includes representatives from shelters, intervention programs, and probation. Similarly the victim services subcommittee includes not only victim advocates and shelter workers, but also includes representatives from batterer intervention programs, the City Attorney's Office, and other agencies.

The DV Council is very active in the community. Approximately 30 to 40 of the Council's members are actively involved in educating the community about domestic violence and developing new policies and procedures which have increased the quality of the community's response to domestic violence. The council's work over the last seven years includes developing law enforcement, medical, and prosecution protocols, batterer intervention program standards, and a domestic violence training curriculum for teachers. The Council also holds annual training conferences for professionals nation-wide. With the assistance of the Junior League, the Council has published an information guide and established an information line on local domestic violence services. Most recently the Council has launched a public awareness campaign including billboards and bus kiosk posters. As noted earlier, much of this work has led to the creation of specialized units and further work within agencies to refine their response to domestic violence.

There is a strong military presence in San Diego and very active military representation on the DV Council. Camp Pendelton in North County is also developing its own coordinated response to domestic violence, based on the Duluth model. The U.S. Navy recently sent Navy personnel and domestic violence workers from the community adjacent to the base to Duluth for an extensive week-long training session.