Improving Law Enforcement Responses to Domestic Violence
First responders play a vital role in assisting survivors of domestic violence. Interactions between survivors and law enforcement in the minutes, hours, and days after violent incidents can have a serious and lasting impact on whether and how survivors engage with the criminal justice system, as well as their likelihood to engage in supportive services such as shelter, counseling, and legal advocacy. This training will provide practical guidance for law enforcement to help them engage with survivors using effective, trauma-informed interviewing practices. Additionally participants will learn more about the shelter intake process, and be provided with additional resources for working with survivors.
- Participants will get a basic overview of Human Options, Domestic Violence, and Trauma Informed Care.
- Participants will understand best procedures, policies and guidelines for responding to domestic violence calls.
- Participants will learn how goals 1 and 2 combine to enhance the safety and effectiveness of law enforcement responses to domestic violence calls.
About The Presenters
Sara Behmerwohld, Esq.
Legal Advocacy Program Supervisor, Human Options
Domestic Violence Advocate, Human Options
Sara Behmerwohld began her work in the domestic violence movement at the age of 14, volunteering at a local women’s shelter in her native Orange County. Since 2013, Ms. Behmerwohld has been the Legal Advocacy Program Supervisor at Human Options. There she works with legal advocates, pro bono attorneys, law enforcement, and other community partners to ensure that survivors of domestic violence have access to the resources they need to heal from trauma. She is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and the University of California Hastings College of the Law. She is also a graduate of the Women’s Foundation of California-Women’s Policy Institute.
Maria Saavedra is a graduate from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work. After graduating Maria spent her free time volunteering for different organizations such as the District Attorney’s Office and other non-profit organizations. Her curiosity grew deeper after completing the 40hr certified Domestic Violence training through House of Ruth, a domestic violence emergency shelter. Since 2015, Maria has been working for Human Options. There she has worked directly with victims of domestic violence implementing a trauma informed approach to ensure clients are receiving the services they need. Presently, Maria took on a new position with Human Options as the DVA (Domestic Violence Advocate) and is collaborating with SAPD doing ride-alongs out in the community where she can continue to support victims of domestic violence.