Praxis and OVW is working with New Orleans, Louisiana, one of three selected sites to create customized versions of The Blueprint for Safety to enhance their criminal justice response to domestic violence cases. New Orleans adopted their Blueprint for Safety on October 21, 2014.

City of New Orleans Adopts Blueprint for Safety

Office on Violence Against Women demonstration site launches new plan to end battering

“A diverse coalition of leaders from across the city have come together to take a unified stand against domestic violence. Our mission is clear: better respond to domestic violence so that we can stop the violence and save lives.” – New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

406On October 21st, New Orleans adopted the Blueprint for Safety, joining Saint Paul, Mankato and Winona, Minnesota* in committing to a system-wide approach to close gaps in domestic violence intervention.

The City of New Orleans was selected in 2011 as one of three national sites for the Blueprint for Safety Adaptation Demonstration Initiative, a project of the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, in partnership with Praxis International. The Shelby County/Memphis, Tennessee and Duluth, Minnesota demonstration sites will launch their Blueprints early next year.

The Blueprint for Safety is an innovative approach in criminal justice intervention to protect victims of battering and end intimate partner violence. It is a comprehensive approach to confronting domestic violence crimes, based on thirty years of community practice and research.

Using the Blueprint, a coordinated justice system responds to domestic violence offenses more quickly and effectively, enhancing its capacity to stop violence, reduce harm and save lives. The Blueprint:

  • Improves how information is shared between agencies in the justice system – from 911 operators to the police to prosecuting attorneys to the courts
  • Ensures risk is properly assessed and responded to at every step
  • Encourages new victim engagement strategies
  • Directs practitioners to pay attention to unintended negative impacts on survivors and their communities
  • Creates a new way for agencies to work together to identify problems and solutions for greater protections for victims

In New Orleans, practitioners from six criminal legal system agencies engaged in a two-year process of examining policies, conducting focus groups with victims, observing practitioners at work, analyzing agency practices and forms, before adopting the New Orleans Blueprint for Safety. Participants in the effort included the New Orleans Police Department, Office of the Orleans Parish District Attorney, Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, Domestic Violence Monitoring Court, New Orleans District Probation and Parole, City of New Orleans Municipal Court with support from the Mayor’s Domestic Violence Work Group, the New Orleans Family Justice Center, and the Disparate Impact Strategic Planning Committee.

408Bea Hanson, Principal Deputy Director, Office on Violence Against Women, U. S. Department of Justice and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

From remarks by Bea Hanson, Office on Violence Against Women

Mayor Landrieu’s leadership in addressing domestic violence is commendable. In far too many places, we don’t have leadership from the top and this is so very important. Here in New Orleans, you have not only the Mayor’s leadership but also the police chief, the sheriff, the district attorney, the courts – all of this leadership is what could make the Blueprint happen here.

We know when we are not coordinated (in our response) that bad things can happen. And we know that domestic violence is a chronic problem. It doesn’t just happen once, but is about a pattern of power and control. And it’s a long process that we all need to stay involved in (to protect victims). You’ve created this in your Blueprint. And while this is a celebration of your accomplishment, it’s also a beginning, where you will now be putting this new policy into practice. This will be the hard work and the Office on Violence Against Women is committed to working with you to put the Blueprint into practice.

– Bea Hanson, Principal Deputy Director, Office on Violence Against Women
404Amalfi Parker, New Orleans Blueprint Coordinator, Kati Bambrick Rodriguez, Domestic Violence Program Coordinator, New Orleans Department of Health, Jane Sadusky, Praxis International, Bea Hanson, Principal Deputy Director, Office on Violence Against Women, Kevin Sweeney, Program Specialist, OVW, Julie Tilley and Denise Eng, Praxis

Read more about the New Orleans Blueprint for Safety launch

Mayor Landrieu Announces a New Domestic Violence Initiative

Mayor Mitch Landrieu announces new domestic violence program aimed at prioritizing most at-risk

New Orleans unveils strategy to combat domestic violence

Mayor Landrieu announces “Blueprint for Safety” to fight domestic violence