Keeping Door County safe requires that the community work together.
A prime example of this collaboration is Door County’s Coordinated Community Response (CCR) team, where key players in law enforcement, criminal justice, advocacy, and other community resources team up to ensure safety. The strategies developed in a CCR “aim to establish ways for the community to intervene in a way that ends abuse,” according to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s website.
Door County’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault CCR teams met separately until this summer. Jess Adams, Adult Services Advocate from HELP of Door County, Inc., and Jake Erickson, Door County Sexual Assault Center Coordinator, decided to strengthen both of their CCR teams and join forces to create one group to address these serious crimes in our community.
“In a lot of cases involving sexual assault, domestic violence is not too far behind and vice versa,” Erickson explains. “Both issues have similar characteristics and qualities which strongly interconnect the two.”
Domestic and sexual violence are community problems that affect more than victims and perpetrators. These sensitive crimes can affect performance in the workplace, parenting, housing stability, mental health, behavior, healthcare and additional risk to law enforcement. For these reasons it is essential that the community works as a team to end domestic and sexual violence.
STOPVAW, an organization dedicated to ending violence against women, suggests that a successful CCR team, like ours in Door County, will help community systems work fast, ensure that victims are protected and can easily access services, and holds perpetrators accountable.
These three goals are exactly what Door County strives for, according to Ray Pelrine, Door County District Attorney and member of the CCR’s advisory committee.
“Door County has long prided itself, and justifiably so, on a tradition of area agencies working well together. Domestic violence and sexual assault victims are entitled to all of our best efforts in helping them through what will likely be the greatest trauma of their life,” says Pelrine.
Door County’s CCR team is still growing and Adams invites new members to join: “We want to encourage community members to join who want to help create a safe community environment, free from sexual and domestic abuse. Help the CCR team by becoming a member, sitting on a committee, or volunteering.”
The combined Door County CCR team is a great way to use legitimate sources of power to keep our community safe.
“The closer we come as a community to understanding that the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence are about power and control, which impacts everyone in our community, the closer we, as a community, will get to understanding that we are the ones with the power and control and not the perpetrators,” Erickson states.
This article is brought to you in part by the Door County Coordinated Community Response (CCR) to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Teams and the Door County Elder and Adult-at-Risk Interdisciplinary Team.
The next CCR meeting is on Wednesday, September 19 from 12 – 1 pm at the Wellness Center in Sturgeon Bay. To learn more about Door County’s CCR team, contact Jess Adams at 920.743.8785.