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Millis Police

Domestic Violence

     Officer Colby Zitoli was appointed the Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention Officer in 2023. This position has been emphasized due to the recognition of the growing problem of domestic violence and the need for a specialized position to address it. The Millis Police Department takes any report of domestic violence very seriously and conducts a thorough investigation and follow-up.

     If you or somebody you know is struggling to get out of an abusive relationship and needs resources, please click below to speak with our domestic violence officer. All communication through this portal will remain anonymous if you do not feel comfortable 

sharing your name or personal information. The purpose of this link is to provide you with any information regarding restraining orders, education on signs of abuse, domestic violence shelters, and any other information you need. Every bit of communication will remain confidential.

 

Responsibilities

 

The Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention Officer position concentrates on monitoring domestic violence incidents and following up with victims and families in these domestic situations. When Officer Zitoli was appointed Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention Officer, she attended various training with different organizations.

 

Officer Zitoli was fortunate to not only receive training in domestic violence and be made aware of the rising number of incidents, but to work directly with victims, more commonly referred to as “survivors” of domestic violence. Her training continues with the latest classes and involves networking with various services and organizations to help aid victims and families.

 

Assistance Offered

 

Upon appointment, Officer Zitoli reviews incidents of domestic violence that had occurred in the past several months in Millis. The purpose of this was to speak to victims of prior incidents and to offer any aid or services that they might need. Also, it was important to let them know that they had a particular officer that they could go to, if for no other purpose than to ask questions or find out what their resources are.

 

Other officers report any occurrences of domestic violence that may occur while she is not working. The officers submit a copy of their report to her and email any other information they may find helpful or pertinent when contacting the victims.

 

Officer Zitoli has also received anonymous phone calls from victims and /or their family members looking for information, services, and what resources are available to them. People are welcome to contact her via email, telephone, or by making an appointment. No one is ever required to give their name or any personal information. As a Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention Officer, she is here to offer any aid and information to anyone who would like it.

 

VIOLENCE

Violence includes, but is not limited to the following circumstances:

  • Physical - hitting or burning;

  • Sexual - rape or incest;

  • Emotional - threatening, insulting, or harassing; and

  • Neglect - poor physical or emotional care.

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FACTS ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Many people in our society still believe in the myth that only a man is capable of being abusive and that only a woman can suffer abuse. The truth is anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. Abusers can be of any gender and abuse happens in all walks of life. Many victims and abusers grew up in abusive homes. Characteristics of the classic abuser and victim may include the following:

 

ABUSER

  • Blames others for their behavior;

  • Demonstrates very jealous behaviors;

  • Low self-esteem;

  • Will often have legal problems, fines, or prior jail convictions for domestic violence crimes; and

  • Abusers make excuses, such as "blaming" the abuse on other people or situations.

Examples of "blaming" statements are as follows:

  • "I had a rough day at work and it's your fault."

  • "The boss gave me a demotion because of you."

 

VICTIM

  • May have suffered serious physical injury in the past from abuse;

  • May experience depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, helplessness, and a sense of worthlessness;

  • May blame himself/herself for the violence; and

  • May believe no one can help them get out of the violent relationship.

 

UNREPORTED INCIDENTS

Incidents of domestic violence often go unreported by victims for the following reasons:

  • Victims do not realize they are in a dangerous and/or violent situation;

  • Victims do not recognize the domestic violence signals;

  • Victims feel ashamed, hopeless or they are in denial;

  • Victims sense they have no alternatives;

  • Victims sense no one can protect them; and

  • Victims do not know of the services available to them or how to obtain them.

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION TIPS

  • Watch for personality changes such as more aggressive, violent, moody, or accusing behavior;

  • Develop a plan of action and instruct your children about the plan;

  • Locate a safe house such as the home of a trusted friend, trusted neighbor, or family member;

  • Locate a safe shelter that is suitable to your needs and accepts children if necessary; and

  • Seek counseling assistance.

 

EMERGENCY RESTRAINING ORDER

Police officers at the scene can obtain an Emergency Restraining Order (209a) for your safety if it is beyond regular business hours of the court.

  • The 209a can be served by any police officer, any time of the day or evening;

  • A police officer may use his/her judgment and obtain a 209a even if the victim is reluctant;

  • The Restraining Order is free of charge.

 

TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER , RESTRAINING ORDER (RO), DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER

  • Victim must go to any district court; if open

  • The order is valid for one week;

  • A police officer can serve the order;

  • When an order has expired, it is the responsibility of the victim to reinstate the order by going back to court; and

  • All orders are free of charge.

 

CONCLUSION

Take a stand. Reach out to someone in the community if you believe they are a victim of domestic violence and are being abused. Do not give up easily, change takes time. Part of the abuser’s power comes from secrecy. Victims are often ashamed to let anyone know about their violent partner. Ending the isolation is a critical first step. Victims of domestic violence rarely complain. They will not tell friends, relatives, neighbors, or the Police Department. Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, all cultures, all incomes, all ages, and religious backgrounds. They share similar feelings of guilt, helplessness, isolation, fear, and shame. They hope in vain it won't happen to them again, but hope does not stop the violence. Help if you can.

 

 

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