New Hamilton County system will alert domestic violence survivors when protection orders are served

CINCINNATI -- Kristin Shrimplin from Women Helping Women sees what domestic violence survivors go through firsthand. 

"Our advocates know that the decision to file for a protection order is not an easy one ... Until the order is served, survivors live in a state of uncertainty, anxiety and fear," Shrimplin said. "They may be afraid to go to work, answer their phone, drop their children off at their school or even live at home."

Now, Hamilton County has a new piece of technology intended to help protect domestic violence survivors. The county clerk of courts and sheriff's office launched a new warning system this week that will allow them to send text messages and emails to notify victims minutes after a protection order has been issued.

It's a notification that could mean life or death.

"Studies show that there is a 21 percent chance of an escalation in violent behavior after a protection order is issued," Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval said. 

Before the launch, it would take as long as five days to notify the victim after an order was served.

"It's taken days off this process," Sheriff Jim Neil said. "These notifications are instantaneous."

Victims can also call a hotline number on the notification. 

Women Helping Women will provide tips and safe locations for people in need. 

"It empowers the survivor to navigate this often overwhelming system as they work to make themselves and their families safe," Shrimplin said. 

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