LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A brand new resource from the Clark County District Attorney’s office hopes to help domestic violence survivors navigate the criminal justice system.
The website is DVHelpLasVegas.com and it provides answers to many frequently asked questions about domestic violence cases being prosecuted by the Clark County District Attorney’s office. It is meant to assist survivors while they are participating in a case against their abuser. The goal is to put those abusers behind bars and to save lives. Survivors say they think the new website will help.
“It was like a mentally, physically, just emotionally abusive situation,” Courtney Dillion, a domestic violence survivor, said.
Dillion is no longer with the partner who hurt her, but she says she will never forget what happened.
“He swung me around by my hair,” Dillon recalled. “Hitting me in the face. Kicking me in the stomach. He pulled me up by my ears at one point. It just felt like they were going to come off.”
Still, Dillion never took her abuser to court.
“I was just scared about the retaliation, like if I were to go through the court system and it didn’t work out,” Dillon said.
Even for survivors with cases in court, there is a lot of fear. That is why the Clark County District Attorney’s Office created the new website to assist domestic violence survivors to navigate the court system while their cases are being handled. It answers several questions, including about subpoenas, feeling too scared to testify against abusers, and what happens in court. The website also provides links so a survivor can look up their case, view a map of the domestic violence courtrooms, contact an advocate, and file for a temporary protective order.
“This website provides them with the information they can use to make them feel more comfortable about participating in the court process,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.
Wolfson says hearing the stories from survivors can make all the difference.
“We lose a significant percentage of cases because we don’t have our victims,” Wolfson said.
The larger goal is to save lives. The latest numbers from Metro Police show there have been 17 domestic violence homicides in 2021 through September 24. In comparison, there were 13 through that same point last year. That is a 31 percent increase. The hope behind the new website is to put abusers behind bars before things escalate.
“We’re here to help,” Wolfson said.
That is a promise Dillon is happy to hear.
“Having someone like the DA be like, ‘Hey, I’m listening and I’m here,’ would be really good,” Dillon said.
Dillon encourages domestic violence survivors to speak up and go through the court process.
“Tell your story,” Dillon said. “It’s very important if you want the person that’s doing this to you to be charged for something.”
For more information, visit their website at DVHelpLasVegas.com.