Briana Heaney Published

DOJ Highlights W.Va. Domestic Violence Advocacy Organizations

A judge's gavel is shown beside a grey book titled domestic

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) highlighted the work of two organizations in West Virginia working to reduce instances of domestic abuse in the state and help victims. 

United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld met with representatives from leaders from the two organizations to discuss their response to domestic violence.

“We will continue to be aggressive in our prosecution of domestic violence offenders while at the same time collaborating with agencies that support victims and rehabilitate offenders,” said Ihlenfeld.

The Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center (EPEC) offers services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking. 

Community Alternatives to Violence (CAV), intervenes in abusive situations and offers classes for men and women to help build respectful relationships and prevent domestic abuse. CAVs Executive Director Jo Elliot said a key element to rehabilitation is taking responsibility. 

“We’re looking for them to stop blaming: blaming the courts, blaming the system, blaming the partner, blaming the cops. Blame-blame-blame,” said Elliot. “We are looking for them to go internally, to look at themselves, and accept that responsibility.”

If you, or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence call the Domestic Violence National Hotline at 800.799.SAFE (7233).