June 17, 2008

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

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