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Domestic violence cases a challenge for DA's office

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TWC News: Domestic violence cases a challenge for DA's office
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CHARLOTTE -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg police received about 36,000 domestic related calls in 2011. But prosecutors say they will only see a fraction of them in the courtroom. This week, they tried three defendants and accepted six other guilty pleas on domestic violence related charges.

Trying domestic violence cases can be one of the biggest challenges for prosecutors.

"We look at every case and we take it as though the victim is not going to be on board with us,” said Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorney Jamie Adams. “And then we see what we have evidence wise so we can prove the case without [victim]."

Adams supervises the domestic violence team at the DA's office. She says of the 36,000 DV related calls CMPD receives every year, only a fraction make it on her desk.

Advocates say education is key for the community and all those involved. And, help is out there. Victims don't have to go through it alone.

"We need to reach out when we know someone is a victim, talk to them, be supportive, let them know it's OK, it's not their fault," said Chair of the Governor's Domestic Violence Commission Karen Parker Thompson.

CMPD says the number of calls received is about the same for the past couple of years. Many of them are repeat callers.

"A lot of victims don't want to speak up, they don't want to speak out,” said CMPD officer and victim advocate Peggy Caple. “And by us reaching out to them, it helps them a whole lot."

Of the nine cases in court this week, six pleaded guilty to assault on a female, two were found not guilty and another guilty of assault inflicting serious injury.

Anyone suffering from domestic violence or looking for resources can call (704) 332-2513 or 1-800-799-SAFE.

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