Created in 1994, the Universal Response to Domestic Violence Project works to oversee a coordinated community response to domestic violence. Through collaboration with the District Attorney’s Office, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Department of Community and Family Services, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, Dutchess County Family Court, Integrated Domestic Violence Court, Dutchess County Probation and Community Corrections, City of Poughkeepsie Police Department, Dutchess County Sherriff’s Office, New York State Police, City of Beacon Police, Family Services’ Center for Victim Safety and Support, Family Services’ Domestic Abuse Awareness Classes, Grace Smith House, and House of Hope come together to form the Project’s Steering Committee. These agency representatives partner to implement and maintain the coordinated community response by addressing gaps in the systemic response to domestic violence. To act as a liaison between all agencies, the Project employs a Project Coordinator.
The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) was developed in 2015 to provide victim-centered, trauma-informed response to sexual violence in our community. This multidisciplinary team is made up of partners including the District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Community and Family Services, Center for Victim Safety and Support, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital and their Forensic Acute Care Team, City of Poughkeepsie Police Department, Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department, Hyde Park Police Department, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, Relapse Intervention for Sex Crimes, Bard College, Marist College, the Culinary Institute of America, Vassar College, Dutchess Community College, and other community agencies. Our current goals focus on: implementing trauma-informed training to all of our partners; creating awareness in the community about sexual violence and resources available; and developing a county-wide, victim-centered, trauma-informed protocol for responding to sexual violence.
CVSS provides 24 hour non-residential, comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes. CVSS also specializes in enhancing the systems response to victims of crime as well as prevention of crimes. We operate under the guidelines of a victim-centered approach, supporting victims’ rights, dignity, autonomy, and self-determination.