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[ATG] Hope Card program gains momentum during Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Start Date: 10/11/2012 All Day
End Date: 10/11/2012
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS – Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced today more than 125 victim advocates and other groups are now trained on the state’s new Hope Card program and are educating victims about its benefits.

The Hope Card, an easy to carry license-sized protective order, is available to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. In August, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office with financial support from Verizon Wireless launched the statewide Hope Card program.

“As we get started, 19 victims have signed up for the Hope Card and we look to grow that number as many turn their attention to the strength of victims and their children during Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” Zoeller said. “As victims rebuild their lives there is an undue burden on them to carry their full-length court orders to the grocery, daycare or work. The Hope Card gives these women a small card to carry and quickly show law enforcement in case their abuser violates the order.”

Hope Cards feature victim information and data on the abuser including their photo, sex, race, date of birth, height, weight and identifying marks. In case of a protective order violation, a victim can show police the license-sized card instead of their multi-page court order. 

Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking victims often obtain civil protection orders or restraining orders to help shield themselves and their children from any further contact or harm by their abuser.

The Attorney General’s Office is also working with the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy to prepare an online training unit for law enforcement that will be available to officers statewide and count toward their continuing law enforcement education credits.

"The response from the advocacy community has been overwhelmingly positive; it's exciting to provide a new tool to advocates as they develop safety plans for those who are rebuilding their lives after being victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking,” said Michelle Bumgarner, director of victim advocacy services for the Attorney General’s Office. “We look forward to growing our partnership with advocates and law enforcement statewide to put these cards in the hands of those who need them."

With the assistance of a $30,000 grant from HopeLine® from Verizon, Indiana is the third state in the nation to have the Hope Card program and the first state to rely solely on private grants for funding.

Hope Cards are free to those who apply and meet minimum criteria set by the state.  Only those under protective orders for a year or longer for domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, will be eligible to participate in the program.

Indiana’s network of domestic violence service providers will be the front-line for screening applicants and applying for the cards. For more information, visit www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/hopecard/.

 

 

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Contact Information:
Name: Erin Reece
Phone: 317.232.0168
Email: Erin.Reece@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Education
  • Goverment
  • Family & Health
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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