Domestic Violence Group Gets Grant

A group working to end domestic violence has received $58,000 in state money to continue operation of a crisis intervention team.

The Coalition to End Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence in Ventura received the grant from the Office of Criminal Justice Planning, said Pat Mages, a victim advocate.

Mages, who coordinates the group's Domestic Violence Response Team, said the money will help cover the cost of having the team ready 24 hours a day for one year.

The team is called in by police immediately after a batterer has been arrested and removed from the home, Mages said.

For now, the response team will work in Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark and Simi Valley, but Mages said she hopes to expand the service to other cities.

Staffed mostly by volunteers, who each have more than 70 hours of training on how to handle domestic and sexual violence, the team provides counseling for victims. Team members also help victims with such things as obtaining restraining orders, finding shelter and protecting themselves from a batterer, Mages said.

Although police officers and sheriff's deputies now have extensive training in handling domestic violence cases and have set up units to prosecute such crimes, services provided by the coalition are important to help victims in a crisis.

The coalition is also seeking more volunteers, Mages said. Those interested should call 654-8141.

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