HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Henrico County Division of Police arrested a dozen people in a sweeping operation to crack down on domestic violence suspects across the county.

Officers carried the operation out over multiple days in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness month. 12 people were arrested on a total of 19 outstanding warrants, which were for charges including strangulation, domestic assault and violating protective orders. Among the warrants issued, the oldest was from May 2022.

“We’ve got to figure out a system that doesn’t take a year,” Fatima Smith, a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, said.

Fatima said she is concerned about how adequate the system is when it comes to supporting survivors after disclosure.

“They’re in a perpetual state of fear because they are on [the] edge of like, ‘I don’t know what’s happening, I’m potentially still being subjected to this abuse,'” she said.

With the rising number of domestic violence incidents and more people coming forward, recognizing red flags is essential for police, prosecutors and courts to make informed decisions as they try to protect victims. Smith suggests helping victims connect to shelters and other lifesaving support services.

Henrico Police listed possessiveness, verbal abuse and control as clear warning signs of abuse. They also said Safe Harbor’s 24-hour Domestic-Sexual Abuse helpline could aid those in need.

Henrico Police asks anyone with active warrants related to domestic violence to turn themself in. Anyone who knows of someone with an active warrant can contact Henrico Police at 804-501-5000.