(WTNH) – A growing number of police departments in our state are taking a proactive approach to deal with domestic violence. They are moving advocates right into their buildings.

Janae Miller has a desk in the East Hartford Police Department, but she isn’t a police officer. She’s an embedded domestic violence advocate with Interval House.

“I think it’s more comforting for victims of domestic violence to know that there is an advocate that they can speak to right at the department, whether it be over the phone, or we plan a meeting,” Miller said. “If they walk in, officers know that I’m here.”

When the police get a domestic violence call, the accuser fills out what’s called a domestic violence lethality assessment form. It basically gauges the danger the person is in. It has questions ranging from whether he/she has ever used a weapon against the victim or threatened to kill the victim’s children.

If the situation is deemed safe enough not immediately to pull the accuser out, Miller gets the case.

“It’s nice to have professionals that deal with these situations in your own house,” Miller said.

East Hartford Deputy Police Chief Donald Olson has been working with advocates in his department since 2019. He says it’s making a difference.

“All domestic violence causes are complex,” Olson said. “Sometimes they are difficult to handle. It’s nice to have somebody here that she’s on the other side of things, the support side, the services side.”

Miller says being closer to people in need is helping her make a difference and changes lives for the better.

“There’s a stigma about speaking with law enforcement,” Miller said. It’s scary, so just knowing that they are going to be heard, that there is someone here who can support them and get them to a safer space, and life is very rewarding.”

If you or someone you know needs help or just someone to talk to, you can call the state’s CT Safe Connect hotline at 888-774-2900. The calls are confidential. For more information, click here.