In 2008, David Prater, the Oklahoma County District Attorney, assigned one Prosecutor
to handle only domestic violence cases. An investigator and support staff were assigned
to the Team and over the past several years, additional prosecutors have been added
to address the overwhelming number of domestic violence cases being filed each year.
Prosecution of domestic violence cases are challenging by nature due to fearful
or resistant victims. These victims are often ‘repeat victims’ who need assistance
to break the cycle of abuse, and following through with prosecution is an important
step. The Domestic Violence Prosecution Team goals are (1) Victim Safety, (2) Offender
Accountability, and (3) Treatment of underlying issues such as but not limited to
mental health and substance abuse problems that can be contributing factors in domestic
violence The Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office prosecutes more domestic
violence, stalking, and sexual assault cases than any other in the state.
Oklahoma statute defines domestic abuse as “any act of physical harm, or the threat
of imminent physical harm which is committed by an adult, emancipated minor, or
minor child thirteen (13) years of age or older against another adult, emancipated
minor or minor child who are family or household members or who are or were in a
dating relationship.” Domestic violence involves a pattern of behavior as opposed
to a single isolated incident. Perpetrators and victims are of every age, gender,
race religion, ethnicity and social status.
All Prosecutors work closely with local law enforcement to gather evidence, work
with the victim to encourage participation in the judicial process, and educate
victims, families and offenders on breaking the cycle of violence. The dedicated
Domestic Violence Prosecution Team works closely with the Domestic Violence Victim
Advocate to provide the extra attention victims need. Service referrals, safety
planning, and aggressive prosecution of the abuser is implemented and the Domestic
Violence Team strives for a ‘no dismissal’ policy through effective, timely and
evidence based prosecution.
The Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office is committed to reducing violence
in Oklahoma County and is evident through community partnerships and collaborations.
The Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office actively participated in the creation
of a Coordinated Community Response Team, with the purpose of creating systematic
change, resulting in a community where victims are safe and abusers are held accountable.
The Domestic Violence Prosecution Team also facilitates quarterly Court School in
which victims, and their friends and family are educated on the court process and
what to expect throughout their experience. For more information on Court school,