Blueprint for Safety

BfSShelterhouse has received a grant award from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women to implement a Blueprint for Safety: An Interagency Response to Battering and Crimes of Domestic Violence.

The Blueprint for Safety is a framework for preventing deaths and reducing the harm caused by battering. The Blueprint coordinates agency responses across the criminal legal system and outlines each practitioner’s role and responsibilities. This unified, strategic response to domestic violence is designed to increase safety for victims and ensure justice.

“This is a great opportunity to take our domestic violence prosecutions to the next level, to ensure that we are doing everything we can to work together for the greater community good and the ultimate goal of greater victim safety.” – Midland County Prosecuting Attorney, J. Dee Brooks

Shelterhouse was selected as one of five grantees nationwide to receive a 36-month award. The project will be a collaborative effort of three criminal justice agencies including Midland City Police, Midland County Sheriff’s Office, and Midland County Prosecuting Attorney.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to team-up with local agencies that want to prevent, prosecute offenders, and protect victims of domestic violence.  Our goal is to keep Midland County residents safe and we have just made another great stride to secure that goal. I have to give a lot of credit to Kim Bruce of the Shelterhouse. This grant was a very difficult one to obtain but through her hard work, we obtained it and Midland County will benefit from this” – Midland Country Sheriff, Scott Stephenson

Midland Police Chief, Cliff Block, “The Midland Police Department is committed to the safety of the community we serve.  This is yet another example of your service agencies seeking best practices through partnerships and collaboration to provide the best service possible to Midland County.  The Midland Police Department takes a strong stand against domestic violence and we look forward to working with our partners to enhance the service and safety of domestic violence victims and holding the perpetrators of these crimes accountable.”

The Blueprint for Safety was created by the City of St. Paul, Minnesota in 2010, with leadership by the St. Paul Police Department, the St. Paul Intervention Project and Praxis International. The Office on Violence Against Women funded a national adaptation demonstration initiative to test the adaptability of the model in three distinct jurisdictions, and in October 2015 announced awards to five new communities to implement the innovative approach to reducing domestic violence crimes.

More information on the national Blueprint for Safety can be found here:

Why is The Blueprint for Safety Different?

The Blueprint for Safety is different than the other ways Shelterhouse serves the community in these ways (and many more):

  • It is more than a coordinated community response (CCR). Rather a fully formed and actualized approach to organize the entire criminal legal system around the Blueprint principles and the experiences of victims of violence.
  • —Grounded in the experiences of victims of violence and an understanding of how the intervention of the criminal legal system affects their lives.
  • —Uses an interagency group, the Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT), that meets regularly to address the community response to domestic violence.
  • —CCRT identifies gaps in the community response, reviews cases, develops coordinated policy, assesses training needs, and reviews and monitors the results of policies implemented.
  • —Agencies agree to use the Blueprint Essential Elements and templates to revise, adapt, or develop policies, protocols, or other documents.

Who Does the Blueprint for Safety Connect?

The Blueprint ensures that each agency and practitioner is on the same page. Instead of isolated policies and a fragmented response, interveners build upon and share essential information about risk and danger.

  • —911 Emergency Communications
  • —Law Enforcement Patrol and Investigations
  • —Jail Booking and Release
  • —Advocacy
  • —Prosecution
  • —Courts
  • —Probation

Does Research Prove This Works?

Yes! Plenty!

The national Blueprint for Safety program has provided many examples of research and evidence that supports the design of this program and how it impacts survivors.

Take a look at this publication from their website for more details: Research Supports the Intervention Strategies of the Blueprint for Safety

Highlighted in that document, evidence support falls into these 4 categories:

  1. Coordinated work across and within agencies increases protection
  2. Outcomes improve when the system treats a domestic violence case as part of ongoing pattern of criminal activity vs. a single event
  3. Clear and consistent messages of offender accountability and victim safety can reduce violence
  4. Sure and swift consequences for offenders reduce recidivism and the severity of future abuse

How Can I Help?

Like many of the other programs Shelterhouse offers, this is a grant-funded program from our government. But there are still plenty of ways you can help!

  1. Donate! –  You can always make a donation to Shelterhouse or the Shelterhouse Resale Shop
  2. Shop! – Stop by the Shelterhouse Resale Shop and see what great deals you can find (all proceeds go to support the mission of Shelterhouse)
  3. Volunteer! – There are all kinds of ways you can make a difference at Shelterhouse. Find your way here