Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault
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In 2012, the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Unit (DV/SA) continued its efforts to address crimes of violence committed among family and household members throughout the State of Rhode Island. The Unit worked to achieve its primary goals of ensuring victim safety and offender accountability. In addition to handling felony trials and misdemeanor appeals in Superior Court, DV/SA prosecutors handle bail hearings, violation hearings and motions to reduce or set bail. Unit prosecutors also regularly argue against victims’ motions to vacate no contact orders (NCOs) against offenders.
DV/SA prosecutors conducted trainings through the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence on investigating and prosecuting domestic and sexual assaults and investigating and collecting evidence in domestic violence cases.
DV/SA prosecutors also coordinate, along with participating police departments and the Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center, the interviews of adult women and men who are victims of sexual assault. Additionally, they conduct training sessions for law enforcement officers at local police departments and police academies, as well as for city and town solicitors statewide to focus on proving cases without the participation of reluctant victims, thereby lowering the number of DV cases dismissed at the District Court level.
In 2012, trainings were conducted through the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence on investigating and prosecuting domestic and sexual assaults and investigating and collecting evidence in domestic violence cases, especially when the victim is uncooperative. DV/SA prosecutors continue to participate in the training of emergency room personnel at local hospitals on the taking of rape kit samples for victims of sexual assault.
In the past year, a total of 75 cases within the Unit were reached for trial in Superior Court.
In 2011, DV/SA prosecutors continued to work closely with the Courts in an effort to make the Domestic Violence Court a success and improve the process for victims by making DV a priority, ensuring that these cases get handled efficiently.
In the past year, a total of 75 cases assigned within the Unit were reached for trial in Superior Court, the majority of which were settled through the plea negotiations, with 19 cases proceeding to trial.