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Family Violence and Sexual Assault

This specialized unit uses an innovative multidisciplinary team approach to the prosecution of Family Violence and Sexual Assault. Two full-time, highly-trained Assistant District Attorneys coordinate the prosecution of crimes relating to family relationships and extreme violence against women and children. Among the cases they are responsible for are crimes involving the physical or sexual abuse of children; adult sexual assault; child pornography; murders involving children and/or other family members; severe domestic violence; and violations of the Community Notification Act (holding convicted sexual offenders accountable). In addition to the prosecutors, this unit has a Victim Service Officer, an investigator and full-time support staff consisting of:
JoAnna Damson, Assistant District Attorney
Chris Donovan, Assistant District Attorney

Sara Judah, Assistant District Attorney

Anna Stinson, Assistant District Attorney

Jada Carter, Victim’s Service Officer

Cynthia Taylor, Legal Secretary
There is a unique history to the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit and its close association with the National Children’s Advocacy Center, where its offices are currently located. In 1985, Former Congressman Robert E. "Bud" Cramer (AL), who was then Madison County District Attorney, organized an effort to create a better system to help coordinate the services offered to abused children. His vision and efforts led to the creation of the National Children’s Advocacy (NCAC) located in Huntsville, Alabama which has earned a national reputation for its team approach which pulls together law enforcement, criminal justice, child protective services, medical and mental health workers onto one coordinated team. This innovative program has been the model for more than 600 established and developing children's advocacy centers in the United States alone with growing interest internationally.


The team approach is not limited to children’s issues as the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit currently provide direction and leadership to several unique and diversified teams:

Madison County Multidisciplinary Team (MDT)
The MDT is a collaborative effort between the Madison County District Attorney’s Office, Huntsville Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, City of Madison Police Department, Alabama Department of Human Resources, National Children’s Advocacy Center, Crisis Services of North Alabama, and a physician. This team works together in conducting joint forensic interviews of children and making team decisions about the investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases. Our mission is to protect the children of Madison County.
Child Death Review Team (CDR)
The CDR combines the resources and expertise of the following agencies: Madison County District Attorney’s Office, Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, City of Madison Police Department, Alabama Department of Human Resources, National Children’s Advocacy Center, and Mental Health Center. This team works together to review and evaluate child deaths in Madison County and to make recommendations to the Alabama Child Death Review System in order
to prevent other child deaths. Our mission is to understand how and why children die in Madison County, in order to prevent future child deaths.
Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)
Representatives from the Madison County District Attorney’s Office, Huntsville Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, City of Madison Police Department, Crisis Services of North Alabama, Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, and the National Children’s Advocacy Center make up SART. This team works together to ensure a just and meticulous response to sexual assault in Madison County.
Domestic Violence Team (DV Team) 
The DV Team consists of representatives from the following agencies: Madison County District Attorney’s Office, Huntsville Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, City of Madison Police Department, Crisis Services of North Alabama, Huntsville City Prosecutor’s Office, Madison City Prosecutor’s Office, and Madison County Probation Office. This team coordinates efforts in order to protect the victim and to hold the offender accountable. The Madison County District Attorney's Office takes domestic violence very seriously and has a no-drop policy with regard to spousal violence. The goal of intervening in family violence within the justice system is to reduce and prevent further violence.
Special Links:

If you believe a child is being abused, please contact local law enforcement or the Department of Human Resources: (256) 535-4500 (in Madison County)

Crisis Services of North Alabama: http://www.csna.org

Alabama Child Death Review System: http://www.adph.org/cdr/

National Children’s Advocacy Center www.nationalcac.org

Alabama Department of Human Resources: www.dhr.state.al.us