TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Domestic Violence Division works within the Special Victims Unit of the Toledo Police Department. Their goal is to provide protection, resources and help to victims and even offenders of violence in Lucas County.
"Domestic violence is one of those topics that people don't want to talk about and you want to just think you can just deal with it on your own, and that it will eventually resolve itself and sadly, sometimes that is just not the case," said Sergeant Brian Smith, Commander of the Special Victims Unit.
Smith says their main goal is not to just respond to calls of violence, but provide long term treatment. This means providing counseling for both the victim and the offender.
"I feel that if you're only addressing getting help for the victim, that you're really not solving the problem, that's really only half of the piece to this problem. The offender's need help too," said Smith.
Their priority is keeping people safe, meaning the unit is available to take calls all day, even from victims without court cases.
"They need to understand that what they are doing is wrong, and it is very serious and that people could get seriously hurt someday," said Smith.
He says the best thing for victims to do is to get out in front of the issue, in order to prevent further violence from happening.
"It's just a weight taken off of their shoulders when they know they can sleep safely, that their kids are safe, and that nothing bad is going to happen," said Smith.