CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – YWCA works with law enforcement in Kanawha, Boone and Clay counties to help resolve domestic violence situations. Officers say if you find yourself in a domestic violence situation it’s best to call.
For some, it might not be easy to call the police when a domestic violence situation happens.
“Sometimes what we see is folks that really should have law enforcement involved but they’re scared of calling the police. They don’t want the police in their house. They don’t know what’s going to happen,” Julie Britton-Haden, YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program Director, said.
Police want people to know they’re there to help. If they do get a call, officers are required to document what happened even if a crime didn’t occur.
“A neighbor called 911 believing they heard a disturbance and it’s just a squabble, or it’s just some argument, we’re still going to have to respond. We ask you to cooperate and help out so we can do that investigation quickly and peacefully,” Sgt. Brian Humphreys with Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office said.
Some even might ask when the right time would be to call the police.
“We’ve had 911 calls come through when somebody says hey there’s no crime that’s been committed, but things are escalating. Things are getting more concerning. This person had made threats potentially or they eluding to a threat, started throwing things and damaging things in the house, and I’m scared for my safety. We would rather get that call and start officers that way to maybe diffuse things,” Sgt. Humphreys said.
The YWCA has done outreach with law enforcement, especially during COVID-19 to inform people of how they work together. It’s been helpful since courthouses were closed and victims couldn’t file a domestic violence petition.
“Law enforcement is typically the first to be there. They do referrals to us often by bringing people to our gates and helping the fears of victims about what’s going to happen,” Britton-Haden said.
Since COVID-19 is still ongoing, officers say if you’re concerned about COVID-19 transmission when they come to your house, it’s best to explain that when they get there. It’s always better to call for help than suffer in silence.