Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank has announced the creation of a domestic violence court, which will focus on helping domestic violence victims and hold their abusers accountable.

“Domestic violence is a public health crisis in our community,” said Judge Frank. “Recent statistics show women in Saginaw County experienced intimate partner abuse nearly twice the state average. Every day I see the effects domestic violence has on defendants’ intimate partners, children and the community. It is a cycle of abuse that will continue from one generation to the next unless we act anew to protect women and children from their abusers.”

Stakeholders will include the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office, CST Counseling, Inc., of Saginaw and Underground Railroad. Frank’s office said the specialized docket will address the needs of victims with necessary services and monitor the defendant with probation supervision and offender treatment.

“A recurring barrier to traditional processing of these cases is request by victims to drop the charges. I believe the domestic violence court will be a start to show victims that their safety will not be forgotten, ” said Judge Frank.

Frank also created Saginaw County’s first mental health court in 2013.