Columbia County, OR Domestic Violence Council

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Columbia County, OR, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

Source File:


What is domestic violence?
Domestic/family violence is emotional, physical, verbal, psychological abuse or neglect, or sexual abuse, or the threat thereof, perpetrated against a person by that person's family member, parent, child, spouse, former spouse, partner, former partner, or adult relative, or by the parent of their minor child. Abuse may include threats, harm, injury, harassment, exertion of power and control, terrorism, or damage to living beings or property. Family violence may be a single incident, ranging in intensity from harassment to homicide. Often it is a systematic pattern of abuse that usually escalates over time in frequency and severity. Family violence occurs between partners of the same and different sex. Overwhelmingly, victims of family violence are women abused by men. The Council’s context includes the effects of violence on the community and on other family members, particularly children.

The Columbia County Domestic Violence Council, through an informed and tolerant discussion of domestic violence, seeks to decrease domestic violence through development and coordination of resources, community education, promotion of abuser-accountability and support for victims of domestic violence.

The Council believes domestic violence is a very serious and widespread violence with a long term negative impact on society and its individuals. Domestic violence is an expression of the unequal power that can exist in intimate relationships. Council believes that such an abuse of power often has been supported historically and perpetuated by social norms, roles, and institutions. Sometimes domestic violence is perpetrated by women against men. Most frequently, however, men, are the abusers and women are the victims.

The work of the Council will be guided by Council members’ shared commitment to:

  • The right of all people to live free from family violence or the threat of violence;
  • Recognition of the public responsibility to prevent family violence, to enact and enforce laws, and to promote and enact policies and practices that protect the victims of violence;
  • Recognition that cooperation and coordination among public and private resources is essential to effectively address family violence;
  • Recognition that efforts to address the issues of family violence must be culturally appropriate, based in respect for all individuals and desire to build a rich multicultural community;
  • Promoting victim safety and holding batterers accountable for violence;
  • The need to change social structures, including the status of women, which allow family violence to occur;
  • Preventing family violence by changing social attitudes and cultural norms to value relationships which ensure respect and dignity for all members of society; and
  • Recognition that all forms of oppression create an environment that promotes and encourages family violence.

Role of the Council
The Council will:

  • Advise policy makers within local government (cities and county), regional government, court systems, law enforcement and corrections, and other public entities about policy issues and resource needs relating to family violence;
  • Map unmet needs and create coordinated responses to address them;
  • Develop strategies to close the gap between needs and available resources;
  • Prepare and disseminate reports regarding family violence policy issues;
  • Bring key players in public and private efforts to end family violence together to build productive relationships and to provide opportunities to strengthen and improve the community response to domestic violence;
  • Provide opportunities for exchange of information and training;
  • Address problem areas in the coordinated effort to reduce family violence and advocate for system improvements; and
  • Promote awareness of family violence and effective intervention and or prevention strategies.

Membership of the Council
Public and private agencies and community members may request membership on the Council. To qualify for membership, an agency or individual must:

  1. Intervene in or work to prevent family violence and agree with the mission and values of the Council,
  2. Agree to attend monthly Council and committee meetings; and
  3. Submit an application and signed statement of understanding. All information on this application is considered public record and may be made available upon request.