A dedicated Domestic Violence Unit is vital to ensure justice for domestic violence victims. Thorough investigations are critical to gathering evidence against a perpetrator, especially given that 60-80% of domestic violence victims recant their allegations. Not only does a DV Unit make prosecution more effective, it ensures a higher standard of justice for victims. The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is often a matter of context– the DV Unit has the time to fully investigate these details.
When the DV Unit was cut in 2009, the number of cases referred by deputies to the office dropped by 200 within the first year.
I was proud to reestablish the Domestic Violence Unit in 2015.
Since the reinstitution of the DV Unit, King County has seen a 20% increase in filed cases involving felony domestic-violence charges, compared to the same period in 2015.
The unit has been so successful that I am working to expand it, even with limited budget. In 2016, we maximized manpower, training close to 100 patrol deputies in investigative techniques when they respond to domestic-violence calls. This includes engaging victims in wider-ranging conversations about their daily living situation rather than solely focusing on the immediate incident.
Somebody willing to injure someone they purport to love is willing to do just about anything. I am committed to the expansion of this unit to ensure timely, thorough, and quality investigations of domestic violence abuse.