By Carrie Weil
LOUISVILLE (WAVE) -- Domestic violence victims got a new weapon in staying safe Thursday. It's worked in 178 other communities, and now Louisville is on board. It's called "AWARE®" which stands for "Abused Women's Active Response Emergency." The Jefferson County attorney's office will run the program through its domestic violence intake center. WAVE 3's Carrie Weil explains.
Here's how it works: an ADT alarm is installed in a person's home and monitored for free. If the person is in danger, he or she can press a pendant -- worn like a necklace -- and police will be notified and respond immediately.
The program is a cooperative effort between police and ADT security services. In fact, when a person first receives the AWARE® system, police will visit the home and get the lay of the land.
"Our officers will know what the dwelling is, what the entrances are, they'll know what the perpetrator looks like so they can respond appropriately," said Lt. Col. Tim Emington with the Louisville Metro Police Department. "And in my business, knowing what you are responding to is half the battle."
AWARE® is a partnership between local police and ADT Security Services. The Louisville Metro Domestic Violence Prevention Coordinating Council worked to bring AWARE to Louisville. The program has been around for 15 years and is credited with saving 31 lives so far.
In Louisville, 5,000 cases involving domestic violence are prosecuted each year -- and that's just the cases where the victims follow through and press charges.
Fortunately, there's no limit on the number of alarms that will be installed, but there is criteria. A person must be in immediate danger, have a restraining order against the abuser or be in the process of obtaining one, and must be willing to press charges.
For more information, contact the county attorney's office.
Online Reporter: Carrie Weil
Online Producer: Michael Dever