June 28, 2008

Free security systems available for domestic violence victims

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — Free security systems will be available to a limited
number of domestic violence victims in St. Lucie County, thanks to a partnership
between St. Lucie County sheriff's victim advocates and a security company,
according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"We are grateful to AAA Security of Port St. Lucie for making security systems to a limited number of victims of domestic violence," Sheriff Mascara said. "The security systems will make victims safer, and the public will benefit."

To be eligible, domestic violence victims in St. Lucie County must have obtained an injunction for protection, or there must be a domestic violence, stalking or violation of protection order case filed with a law enforcement agency, and the victim must not be living with the offender. Other conditions may apply.

Those who want to participate in the program are asked to contact St. Lucie County Sheriff's victim advocates by telephoning (772) 462-3230.

Free security systems available for domestic violence victims : St. Lucie County : TCPalm

Michigan Domestic Violence Law

...passed a bill that will allow judges to put GPS tracking devices on
convicted abusers. Victims, and in some cases authorities,will be
WLNS TV 6 Lansing Jackson Michigan News and Weather - WLNS.COM Domestic Violence Law

Judge strays from guidelines-- Kansas

Shawnee County District Court Judge Matthew Dowd, widely criticized in 2007
for granting probation to three men convicted of sex with children, did it again
CJOnline / The Topeka Capital-Journal - Judge strays from guidelines

June 26, 2008

Wisconsin Law Journal - Supreme Court upholds right to confront witness

Mark D. Jensen, convicted earlier this year of murdering his wife in 1998, may
have to be retried.
On June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its
long-awaited decision in Giles v. California. The high court rejected the State
of California’s theory that the defendant, by killing the witness, waived his
right to question her. The majority found that theory was contrary to the common
law embodied in the Confrontation Clause.
Speaking for the majority, Justice
Antonin Scalia wrote, “American courts never – prior to 1985 – invoked
forfeiture outside the context of deliberate witness tampering.”
In Jensen’s
case, the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted the same theory as California
Wisconsin Law Journal - Article

Court won't allow statements by killer's victim

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that a murder victim's prior statements cannot be used against her killer because it would violate a defendant's constitutional right to confront witnesses who testify against him.... Court won't allow statements by killer's victim Reuters

Lawmakers vow to execute child rapists

"Anybody in the country who cares about children should be outraged that we
have a Supreme Court that would issue a decision like this," said Alabama
Attorney General Troy King, a Republican. The justices, he said, are "creating a
situation where the country is a less safe place to grow up."
Lawmakers vow to execute child rapists - CNN.com

Byrd Champions Funding Increases for Domestic Violence Programs

Victims and their advocates from West Virginia and across the country praised the great leadership of Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-WV. The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee of which the Senator is Chairman, and its Subcommittee the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS), approved $415 million in funding for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and $635 million in funding for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).... Byrd Champions Funding Increases for Domestic Violence Programs - Huntington News Network

June 24, 2008

Assessing domestic violence in custody disputes critical to assure safety in parenting plans

An interdisciplinary team of law professors and researchers bring multiple perspectives to the work. Peter G. Jaffe, Janet R. Johnston, Claire V. Crooks, and Nicholas Bala propose...

"Judges and professionals working in the family justice system need to be thorough in their assessment of domestic violence as a critical factor in determining the best parenting plan after separation for the safety of adult victims and their children," the authors conclude.... Assessing domestic violence in custody disputes critical to assure safety in parenting plans

June 20, 2008

Mend hole in domestic violence law

However, in New York state, if unmarried victims seek orders of protection from Family Court, most would be denied. New York is the only state that does not permit unrelated people to obtain civil orders of protection.... Agenda for Albany: Mend hole in domestic violence law democratandchronicle.com Democrat and Chronicle

June 17, 2008

UAADV In Support of Laura Pennington for Miss Virginia

UAADV is Supporting a Survivor of Domestic Violence whom is in the running to become Miss Virginia. Her platform is "Breaking the Silence - Domestic Violence Prevention and Awareness".

Laura Pennington, will be competing the end of this month as Miss Commonwealth and would greatly appreciate your support. It takes a few seconds; you don't even have to enter your name.

One vote per IP address but please pass the message on to your friends and family.

Thank you so much!

Please click on the image below and vote for Laura Pennington!

Calif. bill removes jail threat for victims

SACRAMENTO—Domestic violence victims who refuse to testify against their abuser would no longer be threatened with jail time under legislation sent Monday to the governor.

The bill by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, instead would allow judges to order victims to attend counseling or fulfill community service.

It was passed by the Assembly on a 42-22 vote, after an emotional debate in which lawmakers were asked to decide whether domestic violence victims should be punished as a way to put their abusers behind bars.

"The important thing to remember is these are victims of a heinous crime," said Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge. "These are victims who oftentimes have young children. To say to these victims you can face incarceration and time away from your children because you yourself (have) been a victim is just wrong."

Read the rest of this article:Calif. bill removes jail threat for victims - San Jose Mercury News

June 16, 2008

Missing South Carolina Boy Found In Virginia

   posted 11:19 am Mon June 16, 2008 - South Carolina

ABC News 4 - Missing boy found in Virginia

An amber alert for a missing child ended Monday night.

Colin Nathaniel Custer was found with his father, Robert William Custer II, 45, in Virginia.  Authorities cancelled the amber alert around 6:00 p.m.

The alert was issued in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia after Lexington County authorities found the boy's mother locked in a gas station bathroom Monday morning. She told them the child's father abducted them Sunday after a court-ordered visitation.

Robert Custer has a history of violence with women.  Renee Pennell-Rashell says Custer placed a cloth over her mouth and nose and she lost consciousness.

There is no word on charges in this case.


Courts Putting Hot-Button Words on Ice

Judges are banning terms such as 'rape' and 'victim' as prejudicial to defendants????



Call it the age of the Loaded Word.
A steadily increasing number of courts across the United States are prohibiting witnesses and victims from uttering certain words in front of a jury, banning everything from the words "rape" to "victim" to "crime scene."
Prosecutors and victims' rights advocates nationwide claim the courts are going too far in trying to cleanse witness testimony, all to protect a defendant's right to a fair trial. Concerns and fears over language restrictions have been percolating ever since judges in Nebraska and Missouri last year banned the word "rape" during rape trials.

Marquis, who is the district attorney in Clatsop County, Ore., said courts telling witnesses and victims how to tell their story insults them, as well as the intelligence of jurors.
"You have a woman who's been raped and she has to say that she had sexual intercourse with the man, rather than calling him her attacker?" Marquis said. "I think this is going 50 years back in our legal evolution."
Not quite, counter criminal defense lawyers, who argue that certain words like "victim" and "rape" and "murder" conflict with the presumption of innocence, and therefore, should be kept out of trial.

Wendy J. Murphy of the New England School of Law, who is representing a Nebraska rape victim opposing the judge's barring of the word "rape," said the major battle facing prosecutors and victims now is fighting judges' censorship orders.


June 13, 2008

Call to prevent domestic violence--UK

If they could get this going as a National program I would love to see other countries, including the US, follow suit and do the same!

Children must be taught about domestic violence, honour-based crimes
and forced marriages, MPs have said.

Doctors and nurses should also be required to undergo training in
identifying domestic violence victims, they said.

The MPs said a specialised victim protection programme, similar to
witness protection, should be developed for women fleeing so-called honour-based

BBC NEWS UK Call to prevent domestic violence

June 12, 2008

Battered Indiana Mom Plans Suit in Baby's Foster Care Death

The mother of Destiny Linden, a 7-week-old Indianapolis girl who died April 29 while in the state foster care system, has notified the Indiana Department of Child Services that she plans to file a wrongful-death lawsuit against the agency. At the heart of Randi Linden’s claim: Destiny was improperly removed from her by DCS, which led to the baby’s death.

In court records, DCS officials claimed they had to remove Destiny because Linden failed to protect the child when she refused to go to a domestic violence shelter or press criminal charges against Michael Carter Love, Destiny's father, for an alleged assault in early April. Three days after DCS placed Destiny in the home of Indianapolis foster parents Everett and Kim Coleman, she was found unconscious in an adult bed. Destiny never regained consciousness and was kept on life support systems for five days before she was pronounced dead.

In a letter to the Marion County Prosecutor, Indianapolis Attorney Lee, who filed the tort claim for Linden, said he thinks Love should have been criminally charged in the alleged assault of Linden — which would have eliminated the need for Destiny to be removed from her mother. The letter states Linden refused to press charges because Love threatened her if she cooperated with police or prosecutors, but that investigators never made an attempt to determine why she was refusing to move forward with charges after filing an initial police report.

Read the full story here.

June 10, 2008

Rent Protection for SF Victims of Domestic Violence

The legislation introduced by Supervisor Carmen Chu would prohibit landlords from evicting domestic violence victims for reasons such as noise, fighting or frequent police visits.... KCBS - Rent Protection for SF Victims of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence leave passes out of committee | Philly | 06/10/2008

Domestic violence victims would be entitled to as many as eight weeks of vacation -- four for small businesses -- under City Councilman Bill Greenlee's bill that was recommended for approval by a Council committee this morning.... Domestic Violence leave passes out of committee Philly 06/10/2008

June 9, 2008

Team Heal Trauma

Registration Opens for the 33rd
Marine Corps Marathon and 10K Races!

Team Heal Trauma is a charity running and awareness team dedicated to drawing attention to the pervasiveness and impact of psychological trauma. Psychological trauma is a common, but often ignored or overlooked experience for survivors of violence, abuse, neglect, disaster, terrorism, and war, impacting virtually all health and human service programs and services. With your help on our team, we can work together to ensure that trauma is addressed and we can begin to turn the human, social, and economic consequences for individuals, communities, and the nation to a place of healing and wellness.

Join the team as a runner (marathon or 10K), volunteer, or sponsor to demonstrate your commitment to addressing this important public health issue. Register Today! Space is Limited ...

Team Heal Trauma is a Charity Partner of the 33rd Annual Marine Corps Marathon taking place on Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 8:00 am in Washington, DC. Team Heal Trauma consists of three kinds of participants (18 years of age and older):

Runners (Marathon and 10K)
Each marathon runner is responsible for covering the $88 Marine Corps Marathon registration fee and raising a minimum of $500 in sponsorship funds for Team Heal Trauma. Each 10K runner will be responsible for covering the Marine Corps Marathon 10K registration fee of $50 and will be required to raise a minimum of $100 in sponsorship funds.

Each volunteer is encouraged to raise a minimum of $100 for Team Heal Trauma.

Sponsors and Supporters
Sponsors of Team Heal Trauma receive recognition in all promotional, press, team, and community educational materials (including Web and outreach to print, radio, and television venues), highlighting the charitable contribution of companies committed to the health and wellbeing of survivors.

Witness Justice is a national, grassroots, nonprofit organization created by survivors for survivors. Our mission is to offer advocacy and support to victims of violence and trauma. Witness Justice offers support regardless of where a victim lives, when or where the crime occurred, or whether the crime was ever reported. For more information, visit www.WitnessJustice.org.

June 6, 2008

First Domestic Violence Court Launched--England

THE first dedicated court for domestic abuse was opened in Hertfordshire yesterday - and a second in St Albans could be less than a year away.... First Domestic Violence Court Launched (from This Is Hertfordshire)

Courts and Judges talk radio show | In the Best Interest

Please join Professor Kwame and I as we discuss his upcoming documentary
entitled "In the Best Interest of." This documentary will be
submitted to the 2009 Film Festival.

We will air live at
5:00pm Pacific Time (Calif. time) Call in or just listen Friday June 6,
2008 (347) 838-8453. This show is dedicated especially for
candidates and elected officials so that they can get a real
understanding as to what is occurring within our court system, the
constant denying Due Process against the

S. Moore
For more info: Courts and Judges talk radio show In the Best Interest

Remember the DC Sniper?

Mildred Muhammad

Do you remember the DC Sniper, John Allen Muhammad? The guy that was shooting people at random all around the Baltimore and Washington, DC area a few years ago? There was a television show this week featuring the sniper's ex-wife. Did anyone ever hear that the sniper started shooting people at random because he wanted to kill his wife so he would get custody of his children? He was hoping that her murder would look like just another victim of the sniper.

Read Mildred Muhammad's story here.

To visit the website of her organization she founded, After The Trauma, to help victims of domestic violence, click here.

June 2, 2008

Missing domestic violence suspect and daughter 6/02/08


Toledo police spent part of the morning searching for a man who threatened to
kill his wife. Toledo police want to know if you have seen Kevin Hill. He is
wanted on domestic violence warrants. Police say Hill is abusive and threatened
to hurt his wife and daughter....Wife Amy says, "Apparently he went there to see the assembly. Instead of letting her return to class he took her from the school."....
13abc.com: Missing domestic violence suspect and daughter 6/02/08

Private Funding For Individuals: Domestic Violence

Private Funding For Individuals: Domestic Violence - This listing features grants, scholarships, fellowships and/or awards for individual women available from foundations, charities, and private trusts.

Funding Alert: June 2, 2008 Volume 3, Issue 13

FUNDING ALERT: Compiled by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Victims of family violence, stalking and sexual assault can register for anonymous address - El Paso Times

"Texas family violence, stalking and sexual assault victims can now obtain a
confidential address that will help them protect their privacy and keep them
secure," Attorney General Abbott said in a news release. "We are grateful to the
victim assistance organizations that partnered with us to ensure this program
provides the meaningful protections intended by the
Victims of family violence, stalking and sexual assault can register for anonymous address - El Paso Times

What Abuse Survivors Expect from the Portland Crime Victims Conference - Salem-News.Com

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Victim's advocates will gather in Portland June 2nd through
4th during a special conference called "Responses, Rights, and Resources for
Crime Victims". Plenty of money will be spent on the event, and a host of people
will be there to talk about the importance of taking care of crime

Coral and one of her newly bornchildren, her ex got custody of
all.But do they really mean it? Of course many of them do, but if you talk to an
actual crime victim, you might come away with a different story about what
Oregon really has to offer them. One person who would know is Coral Theill. I
personally would not blame her for finding this illustrious gathering of
advocates to be almost meaningless for changing the destiny of victims. (see:
Under the Watch of Oregon's Justice System
What Abuse Survivors Expect from the Portland Crime Victims Conference - Salem-News.Com

Prison crowding delays domestic violence plan - Telegraph

He added: “Ministers ignored every warning about the need for more jail capacity until it was too late, and now violent men who pose a risk to their partners are avoiding restraining orders.... Prison crowding delays domestic violence plan - Telegraph