Trial seminars train newer deputy prosecutors on how to handle domestic abuse cases

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MUNCIE, Ind.-- Domestic violence trial seminars are training newer deputy prosecutors on how to handle trials involving domestic abuse victims.

The seminars are being put on by the Indiana Prosecuting Attorney's Council this week in Muncie. Various prosecutors and deputy prosecutors are meeting in a series of group sessions, which include lessons and discussions on evidence including witness statements, medical reports and police reports. Through mock trial scenarios, deputy prosecutors must figure out what kind of charges they would file, given the evidence.

"Domestic violence cases are really difficult," said Suzanne O'Malley, Deputy Director for IPAC. "One of the things, we as prosecutors can do to try to stop domestic violence is to hold the offender accountable."

According to a national study referenced by the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on a single day last year, 1,862 domestic violence victims had help from a shelter.

Last year in Delaware County, 3,501 cases of domestic violence were filed. This year, the county was awarded a large grant to help hire additional staff to take on those cases.

Delaware County Prosecutor, Jeff Arnold, said domestic violence prosecution teams are statistically proven to help communities.

"Can make a difference in domestic violence in your community and with victims. The key to it is getting the cases to trial quickly," Arnold said. "You have got to understand domestic violence, how it occurs, why it occurs, the dynamics behind those interactions before you can be an effective prosecutor."

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call 1-800-332-7385. You can also click here for more information from the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. If you live in Muncie, you can call 765-288-HELP. You can also click here for more information from A Better Way crisis shelter.

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