It’s no secret that domestic violence is a huge problem in the United States.
Apparently it’s also a serious issue in Sweden.
Earlier this week a delegation from the Swedish government stopped by the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office to learn more about the prosecution of domestic violence cases.
The delegation – which was led by Swedish Domestic Violence Coordinator Carin Gotblad – is preparing a report for the Swedish government in an effort to help prevent domestic violence in their country. The group recently contacted the DA’s Office after conducting an international search for good practice in this field. (Tarrant County prosecutors handle 3,000 to 3,500 family violence cases each year).
Assistant District Attorney Sean Colston, who is chief of the DA’s Family Violence Unit, and felony prosecutor Rhett Parham talked to the delegation about how Tarrant County works to help victims of domestic violence and holds abusers accountable for their actions. Among other things, they discussed the DA’s “no-drop policy,” the diversion programs for offenders, and the implementation of County Criminal Court No. 5 – which was created in 1997 and is dedicated exclusively to hearing family violence cases.
Blanca Burciaga, director of the DA’s Victim Assistance Unit, and Victim Assistance Coordinator Linda Bigham were also on hand to answer their questions. Burciaga and Bigham were accompanied by Cecilia Jones, who was enjoying her first day on the job as the new One Safe Place Victim Assistance Coordinator.
The delegation took notes, asked detailed questions and afterward, gave tokens of appreciation from the Swedish Government.
While in town, the delegation also paid a visit to One Safe Place and attended the 13th Annual International Family Justice Conference at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel.
Their next stop? San Francisco.
- Melody McDonald, Public Information Officer