Mary Booker, Director of the Victim / Witness Program in the Commonwealth Prosecutor's Office, was particularly pleased to see the part-time Protection Warrant Attorney recruited under the grant in partnership with the YWCA Domestic Violence Prevention Center and Sexual Assault Program.
She said the attorney will guide those seeking help through the entire process – from filling out papers to waiting for the judge to deal with the aftermath of the hearing. She said it made the process easier and more understandable, especially when it could take several hours to get a protection order.
When COVID-19 was first hit, Booker said she saw an increase in guard orders. There are many places victims can attend and different ways they can approach the program, but she has seen a significant increase in the past few months.
Like Harrison, Booker said it was too early to claim a trend or definitively give a reason for this increase in domestic incidents and requests for protection orders, but she said it was possible that more signs of abuse could be seen at home .
"Any extra help to the victims, any extra help to them, on domestic violence and dating violence is always wonderful," said Booker. "We don't want someone to feel stuck, as if there is no way out. If there is." is something that holds them back. We want to do everything we can to help them find the resources so that they can enter a successful life and a safe life. "