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Archive for the ‘domestic violence’ Category

Removal Of Jail Threat For Domestic Violence Victims

Posted by familydynamics on June 18, 2008

Under the terms of a bill that passed the California Assembly, domestic violence victims will no longer face jail time for refusing to testify against their alleged abusers in court.   Local prosecutors and public defenders said the results of the bill, if signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, could be mixed.

Prosecutors said the ability to jail victims for refusing to testify in domestic violence cases is a rarely-exercised but powerful tool in prosecuting abusers. Proponents of the bill said jailing domestic violence survivors puts them through added trauma.

Under the existing law, a victim who refuses to testify can be held in contempt of court and could face jail time. The courts must first require reluctant victims to attend a domestic violence counseling class or do community service before ordering jail time. Sexual assault victims are already protected from being jailed for refusing to testify against their accused attackers. The bill that passed the California Assembly on Monday would extend the same level of immunity to domestic violence victims.


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Proposed Indiana Domestic Violence Law Offers Cooling Off Period For Offenders

Posted by familydynamics on February 29, 2008

Indiana is on the verge of passing a new law that would require anyone arrested for domestic violence spend at least eight hours behind bars as part of a cooling off period.

The Hoosier state is proposing Senate Bill 27. It would require alleged batterers “cool off” in jail for at least eight hours after being arrested. Some Indiana county judges already have a similar plan in place.

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Spain Suffers Surge In Domestic Violence

Posted by familydynamics on February 28, 2008

SPANIARDS around the country staged silent rallies to protest male violence against women after four women were killed by their husbands or partners. It was the largest number of women killed within 24 hours in Spanish incidents of domestic violence.

The women, whose ages ranged from 22 to 55, were killed yesterday in Madrid, Valladolid, in the eastern Valencia region and near Cadiz in the south. Two of the women were stabbed and two shot dead. Three of the attacks were in public places. Three of the victims were Spanish and one a Bolivian.

Three of the killers were arrested, while one committed suicide. The four deaths brought the death toll of domestic violence to 17 women so far this year, four more than at the corresponding time in 2007. Seventy-one women were killed during all of 2007.

More than 80,000 women living in Spain are currently under protection from their husbands or partners. The problem of domestic violence has persisted despite measures against it.

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Groundbreaking Lawsuit Helps Victims Of Domestic Violence

Posted by familydynamics on February 27, 2008

A groundbreaking settlement agreement was finalized yesterday between a domestic violence survivor, a private housing complex and a property management company that offers victims of domestic violence far reaching protections from eviction and discrimination. This is the first settlement of its kind that applies to private housing.

The settlement follows a federal sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan on behalf of Tanica Lewis – a domestic violence survivor who had been evicted from her apartment because of her abuser’s behavior- against the property management company Management Systems, Inc. and the housing complex North End Village.

Management Systems manages 50 housing communities in Detroit and Flint, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio, including North End Village. The lawsuit charged that under the federal Fair Housing Act, Management Systems’ policy of evicting domestic violence victims because of their abusers’ actions constitutes sex discrimination in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act and Michigan’s Civil Rights Act.

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New Mexico’s Governor Signs New Law To Fight Domestic Violence

Posted by familydynamics on February 26, 2008

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed a tougher measure for Domestic Violence, by increasing penalties. Now a third domestic violence related conviction will result in a fourth – degree felony, punishable by up to 18-months in prison.

Four or more convictions will be a third – degree felony. The new law will apply to convictions after July 1st of this year.

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Beauty Salons Tackling Domestic Violence

Posted by familydynamics on February 25, 2008

The clubby combination of intimacy and support in the local salon gave New York City Children’s Services’ Ingrid Dominguez the idea to deal with a serious problem: domestic violence. Dominguez developed a program to train salon operators to spot and help victims of abuse.

The training session in New York City’s Washington Heights area is tailored to Hispanic women. The stylists are taught to look for clues like bruises and missing patches of hair, or signs of being controlled and isolated. They learn how to gently guide distressed women to seek help. Trained operators can provide a contact to help with housing relocation, childcare support and medical insurance. But without guidance from a trusted source, most victims are too afraid to ask for help.

Solorzano reports that salon employees in Washington Heights know domestic violence. A woman who worked at one salon walked outside with her boyfriend and he stabbed her to death in the middle of the street, right in front of her coworkers.

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New Campaign Launched To End Domestic Violence

Posted by familydynamics on February 24, 2008

A NEW £10m campaign to crack down on domestic violence is to be launched by the Scottish government. It is hoped the money will help reduce the misery caused by attacks and assaults in the home which is estimated to cost the country’s economy around £1.5bn a year.

Latest figures estimate that there were 47,000 such incidents in Scotland last year, however, experts believe that figure to be just the tip of the iceberg.

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Judges In California Will Vote on Domestic Violence Reform

Posted by familydynamics on February 23, 2008

The governing body of California courts recommended major reforms in the handling of domestic violence cases Friday, though their statewide implementation could take time and may be jeopardized by the state’s budget crunch.

At a meeting in San Francisco, the Judicial Council of California, comprised of 21 state judges and justices, unanimously approved the recommendations of its Domestic Violence Practice and Procedure Task Force, formed in 2005 with the goal of improving court rules and procedures to ensure safety for victims and accountability for perpetrators.

Among the task force’s 139 recommendations are improving education for judges on domestic violence; streamlining the procedures for restraining orders and their entry into a state database so they can be quickly and safely issued, and all law enforcement agencies have access to them; and ensuring that firearms prohibitions are included in those orders, in compliance with both state and federal law.

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Senator Drafts Law To Protect Domestic Violence Victims

Posted by familydynamics on February 22, 2008

On Thursday, Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, introduced Senate Bill 1356 aimed at protecting domestic violence victims from the threat of jail time. Yee said some victims have been locked up when they refuse to testify against their abuser in court.

The measure would also abolish other punishment of victims who refuse to testify, such as performing community service. This will be Yee’s second attempt at passing essentially the same measure. County district attorneys persuaded lawmakers to block his bill during its first legislative test three years ago.

Yee said that he doesn’t want to hinder prosecution of domestic violence cases, but added that fear of being forced to testify discourages some victims from reporting attacks. The lawmaker also said that if prosecutors can obtain convictions in sexual assault cases without testimony from victims, prosecutors ought to be able to do the same in domestic violence cases.

Since his last attempt to pass the bill, Yee has worked with women’s groups to build support.

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Griego Family Pushes Bill To Help Domestic Violence Victims

Posted by familydynamics on February 21, 2008

University of Washington employee Rebecca Griego was shot and killed on campus by her ex-boyfriend Jonathan Rowan before turning the gun on himself in April of 2007. Griego and her sister Rachel had spent months trying to serve a protection order against Rowan but were unsuccessful because police could not locate him.

Wednesday Griego’s mother Diane Perry, testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee in favor of a new bill in her daughter’s memory requiring courts to not require a domestic violence victim make more than two attempts at serving a protection order in person. In January, Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles introduced the bill to streamline the process of getting a protection order.

According to the bill, if the person the order is against cannot be found after two tries, the protection order can be mailed or posted in a newspaper classified ad and the order will go into effect. Domestic violence advocates said the bill will help to provide an extra layer of protection for victims, but it likely would not stop someone intent on taking a life.

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