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New program aimed to help domestic violence victims - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

New program aimed to help domestic violence victims

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Honolulu police say domestic violence incidents occur more often on Oahu's west side compared to any other district on the island. 

A pilot program aimed at helping victims just kicked off on the Leeward Coast and it's off to a running start. 

Calls to the helpline at the Domestic Violence Action Center come in from all over and at all times of day.

Some are pleas for help, others in need of a listening ear. 

On the other end of that call, advocates trained to help callers through it.

For the past 18 months, they've made house calls, collaborating with Honolulu police to assist victims when officers respond to a domestic violence incident. 

"To have somebody who is there who is concerned about your well-being and is able to provide you the support you need at such a high intensity hi crisis moment. it's a pretty big gift," Nanci Kreidman, Domestic Violence Action Center said. 

The program is called Safe on Scene.

"Having an advocate who is dedicated to simply supporting the person who has been assaulted or has been involved in a domestic violence incident is a very important moment... It could be a moment where a person makes a significant decision and if we can be helpful we really want to," Kreidman said. 

Advocates share vital information with them..everything from safety plans to support options. Something HPD welcomes with open arms.

"It's a fantastic program it's a fantastic working relationship... A lot of things the officers would usually do the other kids were actually better trained to do that show up on scene and provide that," Lt. Mark Matsusaka, HPD said. 

The program was originally implemented in areas stretching from Waikiki to Hawaii Kai. But an influx of federal and state funds allowed it to expand and now cover Ewa to Makaha. The hours are extended too.

This past week advocates have gotten at least three calls a night. 

Advocates know when to get involved and when to step back a bit.

"Sometimes they're not ready, it is a very high stress moment and sometimes the follow up is the key," Kreidman said. 

Once they're involved, they stay involved. 

"We call back and say how's it going or you would've made contact with those folks how is your safety plan," Kreidman said. 

Hoping to stop domestic violence incidents from becoming domestic violence tragedies.