GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — According to the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in 2021 there were 63 domestic violence homicides in the state.
In 2022 there have been 16 since April. Caitlyn’s Courage, a local non-profit, is pushing a new GPS monitoring program to protect victims from their abusers.
“We’re going to do something to change it. We’re going to lessen that number,” said Logan Whitehurst, vice president of Caitlyn’s Courage.
Caitlyn’s Courage was created by the Whitehurst family after the tragic loss of their daughter Caitlyn to domestic violence. They now want to save other victims from a similar outcome. The foundation piloted a GPS monitoring program that is now authorized in 41 counties in North Carolina, with over 300 active participants since February of 2022.
The program is aimed at reducing interaction between victims and the defendant. A judge orders a GPS ankle monitor that the defendant must wear, monitored 24/7. The victim is then given a portable GPS device paired to the defendant’s device so the victim can track the location of their abuser.
Both parties are notified if the defendant comes within a particular zone distance of the victim, whether by mistake or intention. Zones are critical to the success of the program, which includes zones 1, 2 and 3. Once a defendant reaches zone 3, police have already been dispatched.
Whitehurst, who was the sister of Caitlyn, said domestic violence doesn’t discriminate, and if they can help just one person then they’ve made a difference.
Caitlyn’s Courage will host its second annual gala on October, 29 at the family’s property to raise awareness for their cause.