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Prosecutor: ‘Significant Reduction’ in Domestic Violence Offenses

By Herald Staff

CREST HAVEN — Cape May County Prosecutor Robert L. Taylor reported in a release Nov. 13 that there had been a “significant reduction” in the number of domestic violence offenses from 2005-2006.
He cited the recently released state Uniform Crime Report as basis for the release.
He stated that the total number of domestic violence offenses reported in 2006 revealed a 9 percent reduction from the previous year. There were 1,185 offenses in 2006 compared to 1,303 offenses in 2005. There was a 24 percent reduction in the number of arrests.
Arrests for restraining orders were reduced by 21 percent from 58 in 2005 to 46 in 2006. Arrests for restraining orders with offenses such as assault went down from 37 in 2005 to 23 in 2006, a 38 percent reduction.
Total arrests involving domestic violence restraining orders decreased from 95 in 2005 to 69 in 2006, a 27 percent reduction.
“I said when I was sworn in as County Prosecutor in October 2004 that I wanted to reduce the number of domestic violence incidents in our county,” stated Taylor.
“This downward trend is exciting and very encouraging news, he added, “But there is a lot more work to do to further reduce the amount of domestic violence in Cape May County. Dating relationship incidents have risen and require more attention,” he added.
The County Working Group on Domestic Violence and Bullying is currently working on the program for the next countywide conference scheduled for late February 2008, Taylor stated.
The working group is composed of Kristen Raring Bixby, executive director of CARA, Coalition Against Rape and Abuse; Michael McKnight, Cape May County Acting Superintendent of Schools; Karen Buesing, director of educational program in the Lower Township Elementary School District; Marilou Rochford, Rutgers Cooperative Extension; Lynne Krukosky, Cape Assist; Capt. Marie Hayes, and Victim Witness Coordinator Claire McArdle of the County Prosecutor’s Office, and Taylor.
“We need to keep education and awareness in the forefront,” said Taylor.
Members of his staff conduct annual in-service training for all law enforcement officers in the county as well as community outreach programs to educate the public.
“We need to continue to get the message out to everyone in our county that domestic violence will not be tolerated and offenses will be vigorously prosecuted,” Taylor stated.
As Domestic Violence Awareness Month ends, “We need to renew our efforts to reduce this scourge and make sure we fully support the victims and survivors with appropriate resources and services,’ said Taylor.
Persons needing help should call the Coalition Against Rape and Abuse at (609) 522-6489 or 1-877-294-2272, or the Prosecutor’s Victim-Witness Office (609) 463-6484.

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