City leaders address domestic violence response

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DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — City leaders spent the day learning ways to handle domestic violence.

First responders, investigators, and social workers work with victims every day, but getting together and sharing ideas is what many of them agree they need to work on. That’s why the Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s office decided to bring in guest speaker Mark Wynn.

Wynn is a retired lieutenant from the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department. He is a domestic violence survivor himself. As a young boy, he had an abusive stepfather and feared for his mother’s safety. He is devoted to raising awareness and ending family violence.

Wynn helped with the creation of a Family Justice Center in Nashville, TN. That’s basically a “one-stop-shop” for victims so they don’t have to tell their story over and over to different entities. He says every city is different, so every city needs to address domestic violence differently.

“Crimes in the family, are the most committed crimes in the country, and often the least reported, so you have to look at your community and see who’s reporting, and if they’re not reporting, the question is, ‘Why are the afraid to tell us? Why are they afraid to come forward?’ And if they’re afraid, we have to do something about that as a community,” said retired Lieutenant Mark Wynn.

Wynn says he hopes leaders walk away today with more coordination. He believes the best way to help a victim with reporting what’s happened to them is to streamline the process as much as possible.

“You have to put your feet in the shoes of the victim to understand where they go to get services. Is it the shelter. Is it the hospital? Is it the church? It it the mental health clinic? If I make sure all those systems work together, then the victim is more likely to get out.”

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