In particular, orders of protection issued in Family Court and criminal court should also protect the safety and interests of children in the household. When appropriate, the court should, in "stay away" orders of protection, specify locations in addition to the victim's primary residence, such as the homes of family members, as well as specifically including no telephone or mail contact, or contact through third parties. Orders of protection should always be clear, specific, and tailored to the individual circumstances of the case.
d.Criminal justice and legal professionals should anticipate that, at times, legitimate survival and safety strategies employed by victims (such as unwillingness to give information, resistance to testifying, recanting all or part of previous statements) may come into conflict with the goals or needs of the legal system.
Reducing the amount of necessary victim participation in legal and administrative proceedings is the surest way to reduce the potential for such conflict. Prosecutors and law enforcement professionals who begin from the assumption that the victim will not testify for the People are more likely to avoid the need for her testimony by preparing cases which rest on a foundation of otherwise legally sufficient evidence. This type of evidence can include, but is not limited to, 911 tapes, statements from emergency medical personnel and third party witnesses, photographs of victims, and physical evidence collected at the scene.
Courts, criminal justice, probation and other community corrections agencies should develop strategies for continuing to provide safety planning, support services, and appropriate referrals for reluctant or recanting witnesses, or even to actively hostile victim-witnesses. Prosecutors should give such victim-witnesses the clear message that they will continue to be willing to assist them, regardless of their current level of cooperation.
e.Domestic violence advocacy and service programs should be used as the primary referral resource for addressing the safety-related concerns of victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence advocates are available on a 24-hour basis to provide crisis intervention, shelter, and other services. Criminal justice professionals, legal practitioners, and probation and other community corrections staff should actively collaborate with domestic violence advocates to ensure effective responses in domestic violence cases especially in situations involving adult protective services, elder abuse, or child endangerment. To ensure equal access and protection, communities should develop specialized and