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a direct provider of public safety, criminal justice, health, youth, social, and other services;

a contractor for materials and services;

an employer and purchaser of health care and other benefits;

an advocate to the state on issues of law and policy; and

a center for community leadership and community coordination;

it has the obligation to proactively respond to the problem of domestic violence, to maximize the effective use and/or reallocation of public resources that are not already supporting domestic violence services, and to establish within the county a climate of zero tolerance for domestic violence.

Toward that end, therefore, within their individual missions, all county units, agencies and contract agencies should develop written domestic violence policy statements and accompanying written procedures/protocols for identifying, documenting, assessing, and responding to domestic violence. In their role as community leaders, they should also encourage the active participation of the private sector in this process and encourage the integration of the policy/protocol recommendations into private sector responses.

Such policies/protocols must be developed in conjunction with local domestic violence service providers, consumers of domestic violence services, and representatives from the relevant systems, and should, at a minimum:

be consistent with the recommendations outlined in this document;

identify mechanisms for referral and follow up, and develop linkages within and across systems, where appropriate;

establish plans for staff training and skills development;

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