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Victims of domestic violence to get immediate help with new police tool

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Channel 9 learned big changes are coming to the way Orange County deputies respond to domestic violence calls.

Deputies will now have a way to get victims help in a matter of minutes, and the new change is expected to save lives.

Hours before Nicole Adderlini was murdered by her husband, Julian Paris, the two had a violent confrontation and Adderlini called police. By the time a deputy arrived, Paris was gone.

Thepolice report lists the ways that deputy tried to help her. He gave her a case number, information on injunctions and a pamphlet on victim's rights. 

Channel 9 later found the pamphlet sitting in her car at the park where Paris shot her.

Harbor House CEO Carol Wick said deputies who respond to calls like the one made by Adderlini will soon have a new tool to help victims, a special hotline to call set up just for them. 

Deputies will call the number and pass the phone to the victim and an advocate on the line will get to work.

"We knew we had to get to victims while law enforcement is still with them at the scene," said Wick. "Talk to them about their immediate situation, talk to them about the next critical 48 hours and what they have to do to be safe."

Right now, it could take weeks for a case to work its way through the system and reach an advocate, officials said.

"By that point the abuser or the abuser's family has had time to terrify the victim into not testifying and going back," said Wick.

Now that crucial connection with help can be made within minutes. The program already exists in New York City, where officials said it has made a huge difference.

"More people accepted services, but also they testified so the prosecution rate increased by 50 percent," said Wick.

Wick is convinced the program will have a local impact as well and believes it will save lives.

Harbor House of Central Florida: 407-886-2856 | 800-500-1119