The Domestic Violence Unit investigates domestic related assaults and abuse incidents. Detectives assigned as Domestic Violence Liaisons investigate all incidents of domestic violence reported to the Malden Police Department, including intimate partner violence, violence among family and/or household members. Members of the Domestic Violence Unit are also available to discuss safety planning with victims and to help them understand the criminal justice process and their legal rights, including how to obtain a restraining order or harassment prevention order.
The Malden Police Department partners with RESPOND, Inc. to assist victims and survivors of domestic violence. RESPOND provides a variety of services:
RESPOND's Community Services are available to all victims and survivors of domestic violence. They include:
- 24-Hour Crisis Hotline that provides emotional support, resource referrals, and information on legal options, statewide shelter availability and community resources.
- Individual counseling and support groups, which help survivors to define and meet their goals regarding safety, housing, employment, health care, legal issues, divorce, custody, and education.
- Basic Assistance that helps program participants to access necessities such as food, clothing, medication, transportation and temporary shelter through the provision of gift cards for grocery, pharmacy and department stores, 911 emergency cell phones, school supplies and hotel assistance to keep survivors of domestic violence safe when no viable shelter options are available.
- Legal Support that provides individuals with court accompaniment, assistance accessing legal aid services, and help with diverse legal issues including restraining orders, child custody, and immigration. Staff maintains a weekly presence in the Somerville and Malden District Courts and work closely with the victim witness advocate program run by the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.
- High Risk Assessment Teams designed to minimize harm or lethality to survivors of high risk domestic abuse cases by providing a multidisciplinary approach to coordinate a community response including: immediate crisis interventions and long-term stabilization of survivors of domestic violence and identifying, monitoring and containing high risk offenders. RESPOND is the lead is the lead agency of the Somerville High Risk Assessment Team, Stoneham High Risk Assessment Team and Co-founder of the Cambridge, Arlington and Belmont Team.
- RESPOND's Outreach and Education Activities address the root causes of domestic violence via community education and outreach initiatives designed to raise public awareness about domestic violence, educate the community to recognize signs of abuse and promote healthy relationships. Staff commonly provides trainings for law enforcement officials, healthcare professionals, local civic and religious groups, high school and college students and other human service providers.
Emergency shelter has been the cornerstone of RESPOND's services since the agency's founding in 1974. Safe, confidential shelter remains a critically necessary last resort for survivors of domestic violence in grave danger with no other resources or available supports.
RESPOND's emergency shelter is located at a site known only to immediate staff and residents. Services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In Spring 2008, RESPOND moved the Enhanced Shelter Program to a new eight-bedroom home which enabled the agency to double program capacity from 11 to 21 individuals at one time. This home is the only area domestic violence shelter that is wheelchair accessible and ADA approved. Its spacious Children's Learning Center offers a safe, colorful play space and programs that promote learning, encourage parental involvement, and connect children and teens to local in- and out-of-school enrichment activities. The average length of stay for residents is 4 months.
SAFE LINK: The Massachusetts statewide toll free domestic violence hotline (877-785-2020) provides access to all DV shelters in Massachusetts. Operators can direct each victim to a shelter hotline and all services are confidential.