Every January Alliance staff drives into Grants Pass or Central Point to present at the Reserved Officers Law Enforcement Agency training.  It’s a pleasure.  I love working with law enforcement.  There are future officers and deputies from every jurisdiction in Jackson and Josephine County…anywhere from 12 to 20 people.

We use a simulation called In Her Shoes, which requires each participant to pick a role, a specific victim with a specific set of barriers.  We set up stations throughout the building.  We don’t want it to be easy to find those advocates, court houses and shelters.  By the time they are done they’ve already identified the most common barriers to leaving: lack of or inaccessible services, pastors who are ignorant to domestic violence and want to send them back, well-meaning family that sabotage her efforts to leave, a child welfare system that doesn’t always work and even sometimes burned out advocates and full shelters.

So, why do I love working with law enforcement?  Two reasons, they are on the frontline and have a huge influence on how a victim will or won’t leave.  Second, it was a deputy who was the first one to tell me, “You don’t deserve this abuse.”  Six months later that little seed of hope led me to leave…for the last time.