Law enforcement in High Point is trying to reduce intimate partner violence. Now, a project that was launched several years ago is beginning to see results.
The “Offender Focused Domestic Violence Initiative” started in 2012. The strategy involves keeping tabs on intimate partner violence offenders.
That's a method known as focused deterrence. Police have used this method on other problems over the last few decades, such as gun violence and drug-related crimes.
The idea is that people act differently when they're being watched. So, officers take criminal records and determine who they should be focusing on. Once they know, they deliver a 'deterrence message' either face-to-face or via a formal call involving community members and law enforcement.
Captain Tim Ellenberger with the High Point Police Department says many people know someone in a violent relationship. And the easiest way to help is to speak up before it's too late.
“They can help us by standing up before it gets to that point," says Ellenberger. "The problem is it's not in our nature to confront someone in that type of situation. We say ‘well, they need to work things out.' But, in fact, it never gets better unless it's confronted.”