There’s no question that the process of getting a protective order has gotten much easier for victims of domestic violence. But there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
Two huge problems facing victims is that the incidents often occur during evening, nighttime and early morning hours – before most courthouses are open for business.
And many county court systems are highly centralized, necessitating a trip to a distant downtown area, which with victims may not be very familiar or comfortable.
Many areas have instituted half-measures intended to address these difficulties.
But Pittsburgh has taken a giant step forward.
In one Pittsburgh community, victims of domestic violence can head to a neighborhood hospital for emergency treatment.
And then visit the videoconference center in the emergency department of the neighborhood hospital to obtain a very temporary order of protection – even at night and on weekends.
This is a system designed with the needs of victims in mind. A model for communities everywhere.