Domestic violence waiting room - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Domestic violence waiting room

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A domestic violence waiting room will open on Monday for victims with cases in Toledo Municipal Court. Prosecutors hope the new room will help victims not feel afraid of pressing charges against their alleged abusers. The new room is to protect the victims and to make sure their needs are being met.

Toledo Municipal Court judges and prosecutors are trying to put an end to domestic violence intimidation.

 Assistant prosecutor for the City of Toledo Sharon Gaich explained.
"Often times domestic violence victims are very nervous. They often times they feel pressure by sitting in the courtroom where the abuser is there or his family members are there."

Victims used to wait in the hallway by themselves before a judge called their case. Not anymore. The secret room is a place for victim's to feel safe. It will be staffed by the prosecutors office, security and what the courts call a runner.

"When it's time for the person to go down to the courtroom actually physically escort them down and make arrangements for them to get into the courtroom," said Toledo Municipal court Judge William Connelly.

The safe room is equipped with a panic button. Prosecutors say they get about two thousand domestic violence cases a year. They hope the safe place will also encourage the victims to show up for court.

'It's more for victim security safety so they can feel a little better about the process," said Gaich.  

Notices and subpoenas to victims will be sent out to alert them to report to the safe room when they come to court.

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