Northampton receives nearly $500,000 to protect domestic violence victims

The DA has seen a decline in domestic violence homicides

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office and the City of Northampton has received nearly half a million dollars in grant money, to protect domestic violence victims.

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Domestic Violence and Adult Sexual Assault Unit and the City of Northampton, were awarded $450,000 from the Department of Justice, to protect victims of domestic violence. The grant will fund a program that recognizes high risk offenders.

“This funding will allow us to continue that program, where we identify the offenders and we’re able to put a lot of resources to contain that offender and also resources to help make the victim more safe,” Mary Kociela, Director of Domestic Violence Projects told 22News.

The money will help continue their high risk program.

“I think that everyone deserves the protection and resources they need, and there’s obviously a lot of holes in place to help do that for people,” said Jeffrey Lewis of Northampton.

Protection that consists of police officers, the District Attorney’s Office, probation, community advocates, and the House of Corrections.

The collaborated effort helps keep violent offenders, away from their victims.

There were 15 domestic violence homicides, over a 12-year period before the High Risk Program began in 2010.

Kociela told 22News, that funding remains an issue and that this money will help secure two positions and vital programs for victims.

Those positions include a fulltime project coordinator, and a victims advocate; a position that was in jeopardy of being cut, due to lack of funding.

The DA has seen a decline in domestic violence homicides.

From 2012 to 2017, there were zero.