Responding to Domestic Violence

Survivors of domestic violence are not alone.

Domestic violence is a public health, law enforcement, legal system, child abuse and financial crisis. Those that experience domestic violence in Clackamas County have a variety of services available to them. These agencies and programs work together to decrease the trauma related to accessing services. In particular, the county is fortunate to have A Safe Place Family Justice Center available for survivors and their children.

Domestic Violence Services in Clackamas County

A Safe Place Family Justice Center
Founded in 2013, A Safe Place Family Justice Center is based on best practices in the field of domestic violence. The Center provides a trauma-informed, coordinated and collaborative system to support survivors of family violence. Behind its doors, multiple organizations are available to respond to the needs of survivors, reducing the necessity of victims to seek services at multiple sites throughout the county.

256 Warner Milne Road Oregon City, OR 97045 map
Clackamas Women's Services
Clackamas Women’s Services (CWS) provides services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, dating violence, and stalking. CWS utilizes trauma-informed care, rapid re-housing, a confidential/emergency shelter that utilizes a unique Village Model approach, a Legal Empowerment Accelerator Program (LEAP).
24 hours crisis and support line

Located within A Safe Place, 256 Warner Milne Road Oregon City, OR 97045 map
Casa Esperanza
Casa Esperanza is a culturally-specific (Latinx), trauma-informed home that provides free, temporary housing, case coordination and advocacy for women and minor children affected by domestic violence. Participants in the shelter work with an advocate to remove barriers to service, receive recovery support and develop a plan for their future including housing, employment and other needs.

6200 SE King Road Portland, Oregon 97222
El Programa Hispano Catolico – UNICA
UNICA is the domestic and sexual violence branch of El Program Hispano Catolico. UNICA’s goal is to provide support, advocacy and opportunity for self-empowerment, enabling survivors to exercise free and informed life choices.
24/7 Always free and confidential.

Gresham, Oregon. Closed to walk-ins
Victim Assistance Program
The mission of the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Victim Assistance Program is to involve crime victims and the community in a process that helps to diminish the devastating impact of crime. Oregon Law assures that victims have rights in a criminal case; some rights are automatic while others have to be requested. The Victim Assistance Program uses staff as well as trained volunteers to meet the needs of crime victims.

707 Main St.
Suite 201
Oregon City, OR 97045

Domestic Violence Response

The county employs a full-time Domestic Violence Systems Coordinator through the Health Housing & Human Services/Children, Family & Community Connections Division. The role of this position is to provide support, coordination and consultation to the community response to domestic violence. The coordinator is located at A Safe Place Family Justice Center in Oregon City.

Domestic Violence Definition and Statistics

Domestic violence is a public health emergency, affecting millions of Americans each year.

Domestic Violence: a pattern of coercive behavior used to gain/maintain power and control over another in an intimate relationship; this can include physical, stalking, sexual, financial, verbal, emotional, and spiritual abuse.

  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by an intimate partner in their adulthoods — this equates to 10 million people every year
  • It affects people of all races, ages, socio-economic statuses and educational backgrounds
  • 15% of all violent crime involves an intimate partner
  • 20,000 calls are made daily to domestic violence hotlines nationwide

Projects and Programs


The mission of the Clackamas County FVCC is to provide an interagency forum for developing, implementing, and assessing the coordinated response to domestic violence in Clackamas County. The FVCC is part of a county-wide effort to provide for the safety and well-being of survivors and accountability of offenders to reduce the incidence of domestic violence. The group meets monthly. Contact Sarah Van Dyke at for more information.

The Clackamas County Family Violence Coordinating Council (FVCC) was established in 1992.

Visit the FVCC Facebook page.


The Strangulation Response Initiative (SRI), consisting of a multi-disciplinary group of professionals, was formed in 2018 to focus on improving the identification and response to non-fatal strangulation in Clackamas County. The SRI has developed protocols and other tools to improve the detection, documentation and response to cases of domestic violence strangulation as well as increase the accountability of offenders. In addition to the protocols that will guide the work of responders, the continual education and training of law enforcement, dispatch, advocates, courts, medical personnel and others is a priority of the SRI.

Why this focus on Strangulation?

  • Strangulation can be lethal — unconsciousness can occur within seconds and death within minutes.
  • Non-lethal strangulation, however, is far more common (most victims of strangulation survive) and carries with it serious physical and emotional consequences for the survivor.
  • Upwards of 50% of domestic violence victims have also experienced strangulation, with 70% of women in domestic violence shelters reporting being strangled.
  • One study found that 43% of victims of a domestic violence homicide had been strangled in the year preceding the murder.
  • Strangulation is a strong predictor of future lethality for the victim.
  • There is mounting evidence that men who strangle are the ones who murder police officers and carry out mass killings.
  • A lack of visual injury and appropriate training for medical personnel and responders has led to the minimization of strangulation and lack of identification of this type of assault.

The purpose of the DVFRT is to review domestic violence fatalities that occur in Clackamas County and make recommendations to prevent future domestic violence fatalities by:

  • Improving communication between public and private organizations and agencies
  • Determining the number of domestic violence fatalities occurring in the team’s county and the factors associated with those fatalities
  • Identifying ways in which community response might have intervened to prevent a fatality
  • Providing accurate information about domestic violence to the community
  • Generating recommendations for improving community response to and prevention of domestic violence

Representatives from local agencies and organizations participate on the review team to bring their unique perspectives to each reviewed case.

Additionally, the Clackamas County DVFRT may collect and summarize data to demonstrate the statistical occurrence of domestic violence fatalities in the county. 


CFCC provides funding to support community efforts to respond to violence and need in the county. The following programs are currently funded:

  • Children’s Center
  • Clackamas Women’s Services
  • District Attorney’s Office Victim Assistance Program
  • NWFS Casa Esperanza
  • NWFS Children of Incarcerated Parents/Parenting Inside Out

CFCC partners with community organizations to apply for and manage federal grants.

During the 2019–2022 period CFCC is participating in two Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women grant programs: Improving Criminal Justice Response and Justice for Families.

Improving Criminal Justice Response
CFCC is the lead organization on this grant project. The focus of the program is to continuously improve the response to domestic violence in the criminal justice system. The grant supports a Court Clerk at A Safe Place Family Justice Center, a restraining order advocate and a part-time Latina Advocate.

Justice for Families
CFCC is an MOU partner and planning partner on this grant. Funding supports a pilot domestic violence supervised visitation center (to open in Spring 2021) and helps support the Legal Empowerment Accelerator Program (LEAP) that provides legal assistance for victims of domestic violence.



112 11th Street Oregon City, OR 97045

Office Hours:

Monday to Thursday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Related Events
Children, Family and Community Connections
Related News
Health Housing and Human Services, Children, Family and Community Connections