A new program aims to help victims of domestic violence at the scene of suspected cases of abuse.

The Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) received Monday a $200,000 grant from the city for its new Safe on Scene (SOS) program.

A two-member response team trained by DVAC will respond jointly with the Honolulu Police Department to provide crisis support, safety planning and advocacy to alleged victims.

The SOS response team will be available between the hours of 2-11 p.m., seven days a week within HPD’s District 7, which covers approximately 40 square miles in East Honolulu.

The goal of the program is to improve on-scene support to survivors and police officers when HPD dispatch receives a domestic violence call.

“Instead of us just handing out a referral card for social services and shelter, we’ll be putting them in touch with a live counselor who can help them through the process, so we’re hoping that will be a big help in breaking the cycle of domestic violence,” said assistant chief Jerry Inouye, HPD.

“The crisis that results in police intervention can be traumatizing,” said Nanci Kreidman, DVAC CEO. “The Safe on Scene program will be supported by DVAC in a way that will be key to safety and decision-making. Police will be able to focus on the investigation and securing the scene, and this partnership holds great promise.”

The 37-week program began July 1.

HPD District 7 includes Manoa, McCully, Moiliili, Kaimuki, Palolo, Diamond Head, Waialae, Kahala, Aina Haina, Kuliouou, Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley, and Sandy Beach. In 2015, police officers in this district responded to 591 abuse, protective order violations and other domestic violence related calls and crimes.

Click here for more information about DVAC and the Safe on Scene program.