Utah leaders address domestic violence solutions

Mar 17, 2023, 2:29 PM | Updated: 2:30 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – State, community, safety leaders, and stakeholders gathered in Salt Lake City Friday for a second meeting to address responding to domestic violence and assault in Utah.

In the first meeting, the conversation centered around what kind of legislation they wanted to see.

Following the legislative session, they said the conversation shifts to how $15 million in funding will be spent in this space. 

While it may sound like a lot of money, attendees said it is just the beginning of making real strides in domestic violence and assault cases.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, law enforcement, domestic violence response services, and community leaders all spoke on Friday.

They said a big chunk of the funding they received during the session will be spent focusing on laying a foundation as a year of services.

The goal is to build on this year.

“We see a lot of numbers increasing. That could also be reflective of the fact that there is finally more support for these services,” said Erin Mendenhall, Salt Lake City Mayor. 

With one in three women experiencing stalking by an intimate partner, physical abuse, or rape, Mendenhall said response services and prevention are vital. 

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said prevention is a key part of the system they will implement on July 1 with a lethality assessment.

The lethality assessment will be a standardized way across the state to gauge what resources are needed on a case-by-case basis. 

“The prevention part of this, because that’s really where we need to be because if we’re just responding, we’ve already failed. We need to be doing much more,” Chief Brown said.

This is the second meeting of many more conversations to come. 

At the end of the day, they said this money is not enough to get everything they want to do done, but it will start filling the gap.

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Utah leaders address domestic violence solutions