Orange County Government, Florida
Ann Marie Varga
(407) 836-5818 or AnnMarie.Varga@ocfl.net
13 February 2014
Orange County Domestic Violence Commission Reports Achievements

Orange County, FL – On Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14, to symbolize that love should not hurt, the Orange County Domestic Violence Commission (DVC) will provide a report on its progress and achievements since being reconvened in February 2013. The news conference will be held at 11 a.m. in the Board of County Commissioners Chambers at 201 S. Rosalind Avenue.

“The Domestic Violence Commission in Orange County represents a true community coordinated response to the specific domestic violence issues faced in their community,” said Tiffany Carr, CEO of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Tallahassee. “A community that prioritizes the needs and safety of domestic violence survivors and their children while holding abusers accountable is critical to ending domestic violence in our communities and in our homes. I applaud Orange County for their leadership to create a comprehensive approach to eradicating this horrific crime.”

News Conference Presenters:

  • Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orange County
  • Circuit Judge Alice Blackwell, Ninth Judicial Circuit Court and DVC Co-Chair
  • Dick Batchelor, President, Dick Batchelor Management Group, Inc. and DVC Co-Chair
  • Representative Karen Castor Dentel, Florida House of Representatives, District 30
  • Senator David Simmons, Florida Senate, District 10
  • State Attorney Jeff Ashton, Ninth Judicial Circuit
  • Carol Wick, Chief Executive Officer, Harbor House

Two important pieces of legislation will be presented as well as other noteworthy achievements and future recommendations. A survivor of domestic violence will be available for personal interviews following the news conference. Honorable Belvin Perry, Jr., Chief Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, will be in attendance.

Background: The Orange County Domestic Violence Committee/Child Abuse Commission was originally convened in 2005 by Honorable Belvin Perry, Jr., Chief Judge, and the late Honorable Lydia Gardner, Clerk of the Courts of Orange County. As a result of several tragic cases occurring over the last several years in Orange County, Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Gardner reconvened the Domestic Violence Commission (DVC) in February 2013, which is co-chaired by the Honorable Alice Blackwell, Circuit Judge with the Ninth Judicial Circuit, and Dick Batchelor, President of Dick Batchelor Management Group, Inc. Commission members were comprised of elected officials in Orange County, criminal justice stakeholders, and community leaders/advocates who had expertise in the field of domestic violence. Over 70 individuals representing a diverse spectrum of the community, as well as survivors, participated in the work of the Domestic Violence Commission.

The Commission produced over 60 recommendations for improvements to services for Orange County families impacted by domestic violence. These recommendations were in the areas of sharing of information, process improvement, education, and data system improvements. Some were short-term goals that could be accomplished quickly and without a great deal of cost, while others were long-term goals that will need the sustained effort of many community partners.
After the Domestic Violence Commission issued its report in June of 2013, the Domestic Violence Implementation Workgroup was formed with the same membership from the Domestic Violence Commission. The Workgroup began the process of taking each recommendation and beginning the effort to implement each goal of the DVC. In 2014 and beyond, the Domestic Violence Implementation Workgroup will continue to work on the recommendations and will continue to lead the way for our community to work to keep all people safe in their homes.

An overview of the Domestic Violence Commission and a List of Major Achievements over the last year will be provided at the news conference. The DVC Progress Report (in pdf format) will be available via email following the event.

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About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world famous theme parks, the nation’s second largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information please visit www.OCFL.net or go to the Orange County facebook and twitter pages.