A collaborative project working on behalf of victims of domestic violence in Newton has been recognized by a statewide advocacy organization. 

A collaborative project working on behalf of victims of domestic violence in Newton has been recognized by a statewide advocacy organization.  
The city of Newton’s Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program was presented with the Project of the Year award from the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence during its eighth annual Safe Homes, Safe Streets reception on Feb. 9 in Topeka.
The grant created the first Domestic Violence Response Team in the state.
The initiative is a collaborative project designed to enhance the city of Newton’s response to victims of domestic violence crimes and to increase the safety for victims of these crimes with a thorough, cohesive response from the criminal justice system, from the time of initial 911 call through the investigation, arrest, prosecution, probation or parole, and release of the domestic violence offender.
The team consists of a Newton Police Department detective, Mitch Nedrow; a police response advocated, Lisa Donahue; and a victim’s court advocate, Terri Headrick.
The project came about following meetings of law enforcement, the legal community and victim’s advocates.
“We honor everyone involved with this transformative project that, in many cases, will be life-saving for victims of domestic violence,” said Joyce Grover, executive director of KCSDV. “Lessons learned from this project will be used to improve statewide responses to victims of domestic violence crimes.”
Jan Jones, director of the Harvey County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault association, said the project is designed to hold abusers accountable by empowering those being abused.
“Providing immediate support for victims is crucial, and this project goes a step further than crisis intervention,” said Jan Jones, executive director of the Harvey County Safe House.  “It works to build and sustain a support system to meet the complex needs of victims and their families, and to enhance the criminal justice response for offender accountability.  What we have been able to accomplish with this one project would have taken years to achieve otherwise,” said Jones.
Since 1995 KCSDV has been recognizing outstanding advocates and allies who are working to enhance victim safety, to increase perpetrator accountability, and to prevent and eliminate sexual and domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in Kansas.  In addition to the Advocate, Ally, Project and Volunteer of the Year awards, several advocates and volunteers were honored with Years of Service awards.