Police Chief Tommy Wright: Domestic and sexual violence underreported

Green Hills Womens Shelter

The Green Hills Women’s Shelter of Trenton works collaboratively with the Trenton Police Department to help victims report domestic violence.

Women’s shelter advocate Mary Cabral explains the shelter can help victims file police reports, get civil standbys, obtain information and a safety plan, and complete lethality assessments.

Police Chief Tommy Wright says the women’s shelter is a huge resource for the police department and notes that he or one of the officers reaches out to individuals from the shelter nearly every week. Wright adds that the police are able to get victims into a better situation through safety planning and other resources offered by the shelter.

Shelter advocate Jenna Johnson tells that one shelter advocate’s primary duty is to respond directly to referral sources in the community and provide immediate support to a survivor in crisis mode. She says about 80 to 90% of the cases the women’s shelter works with do not get prosecuted or go on to court. Johnson notes that the more documentation reported about a situation, the more long-term changes can be made with the offender.

Chief Wright says that one thing that has helped the police department in terms of prosecution is having a forward-thinking prosecutor and body cameras on officers. He explains domestic and sexual violence is underreported and encourages victims to report their situations.