13:22 PM

St. Louis County Domestic Violence Court hosts open house to mentor other jurisdictions

The St. Louis County Domestic Violence (DV) Court last week hosted a virtual open house for registered guests to highlight the inner workings of the DV court and its benefit to the community. Recently designated a DV Mentor Court by the Office on Violence Against Women, the St. Louis County DV Court held this event to help other Missouri jurisdictions develop their own partnerships locally.  

Domestic violence involves aggression committed by someone in the victim's domestic circle. This includes partners and ex-partners, immediate family members, other relatives and family friends and can take the form of physical, sexual or psychological abuse. Specialized courts for domestic violence ensure follow through on cases and deliver more consistent judgements as well as focus on rehabilitation and deterrence of repeat domestic violence offenders.

Carey DeLargy, the DV Court manager, said she is honored to serve as an Office on Violence Against Women mentor court.  

“It enables us to work collaboratively with other courts across Missouri and the country as they develop or hone their specialized approaches to these incredibly important cases,” DeLargy said. This, in turn, allows us to continue to evolve and strengthen our own DV court.” 

The virtual event was held over four days involving more than 35 participants from at least eight Missouri jurisdictions, as well as representatives from state and national organizations such as the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and New York’s Center for Court Innovation. Individuals had the opportunity to learn about the history and startup of the DV Court as well as witness the inner workings of current DV Court practices.  

As a result of COVID-19 precautions still in place in the Missouri court system, open house participants observed several dockets remotely via Webex including DV order of protection dockets, judicial monitoring dockets, civil contempt and indirect criminal contempt dockets. 

On the final day, participants were given the opportunity to interact directly with the DV Court judges and staff who make these specialized dockets possible, as well as with community stakeholders who assist the DV Court in maintaining a coordinated community response to domestic violence.  

Anika Boyd, the program’s grant coordinator, was instrumental in organizing and running the event.  

“With the support of our judiciary, program staff, community partners, as well as the Center for Court Innovation, we were successfully able to showcase why having a specialized DV Court is so important for victim safety and offender accountability.” 

If you have any questions about the St. Louis County Domestic Violence Court or how it is run, contact Anika Boyd at anika.boyd@courts.mo.gov for more information.