April 29, 2008
Their report, which gave 10 states a failing grade for their disclosure practices, urges Congress and state legislators to adopt stronger policies and laws regarding deadly and life-threatening child abuse cases. It was being released Tuesday by First Star, a national nonprofit which advocates for abused children, and by the University of San Diego School of Law's Children's Advocacy Institute....The Associated Press: Report faults many states on child abuse policies
Families that must go through a shelter situation to be safe and get back on their feet generally have nothing when they enter the shelter and very little extra when they leave. Some state have shelters that provide a transitional housing program to help these people get back on their feet. But, most don't have a program to help with the transition into a safe and healthy environment.
That means that most are in a shelter for a few weeks and during that time they are expected to "get over it", get a job, find a place to live, furnish that place, possibly get transportation and provide for their children all that is needed.
So during your spring cleaning this year, please take the time to consider giving things away that could be used by people who must seek the services of a non-profit shelter organization to get on their feet.
What to give; what to toss | News-Leader.com | Springfield News-Leader
April 28, 2008
But hiding from stalkers may become more difficult under a federal law called the Real ID Act that's scheduled to take effect on May 11.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's new regulations mandate specific standards for what personal information states must print on the face of Real ID drivers licenses and encode on their machine-readable zones. Although there's some consideration for people who qualify for special confidentiality treatment, critics argue the protections don't go far enough.
Homeland Security hasn't yet stipulated what information must be exchanged among the state-to-state databases, saying only that it will be "limited," nor has it specified exactly how the database linking will work, leaving lingering worries among privacy and victim advocates.
All it would take is a determined, persuasive stalker--many have tricks, like saying an ex-spouse is suicidal or otherwise in need of help--and a gullible or corrupt DMV employee, and a victim's identity could be divulged, Southworth said.
"Given that there are less than six degrees of separation between most abusers and a friend or relative who works for the DMV, we are concerned about victims' location information housed in state databases that could be searched nationally," Southworth said. "Prior to national search ability, a victim could move to a different state and increase her safety and privacy, but national search functionality could place countless victims at risk."
"We still have this problem of the backbone of this system, which is that we're creating this nationwide system of databases, all interlinked," said Guilherme Roschke, an Electronic Privacy Information Center fellow who focuses on domestic violence privacy issues. "A breach in one is a breach in all of them."
April 27, 2008
Current state law represents an egregious affront to women
South Carolina has a serious flaw in its criminal domestic violence law. Hopefully, the General Assembly is on the path to fixing it.
Currently in the Palmetto State, a criminal domestic violence conviction may be treated as a first offense at sentencing even if the convicted party has been found guilty of prior offenses outside the state. House Speaker Pro Tem Doug Smith, R-Spartanburg, introduced a bill in February to change that and put those previous convictions into play. Last Tuesday, the bill cleared the House Judiciary Committee and headed for the House floor.
But it didn't make it out of committee before a tweak was made to the bill's language - a seemingly minor change but one that could have significantly altered the bill's impact.
The new language opened the door for possible judicial hair-splitting over whether these prior acts may be considered at sentencing. It was an uncalled-for obstacle, particularly in this state. Keep in mind that South Carolina ranks seventh nationally in the rate of women killed by men. And keep in mind that criminal domestic violence is often habitual behavior.
Taking into account past out-of-state convictions is significant, as the penalties for repeat offenders are higher. An abuser doesn't deserve a clean slate here simply because his previous convictions occurred in another state. And he shouldn't be able to argue that a past conviction is similar but perhaps slightly lacks "the same elements" of the latest crime.
Our current CDV law represents an egregious miscarriage of justice for women, and this legislation is vital in a state with such a horrendous domestic violence track record. The Senate should follow the House's lead and take quick action to pass the bill.
April 26, 2008
April 25, 2008
April 24, 2008
The zone is spelled out in orders of protection issued when the offenderI am not sure I like that the offender can "agree" to wear it, that implies that the offender could also refuse to wear it.... New device protects city domestic violence victims -- Newsday.com
agrees to wear the bracelet as part of their sentencing....
April 22, 2008
April 18, 2008
April 17, 2008
Three years ago, the General Assembly rightly toughened criminal domestic violence penalties for repeat offenders. But our state law still confines the repeat-offender classification to those who committed the crimes in South Carolina. The S.C. House correctly passed legislation recently to expand that status to those who committed criminal domestic violence in other states. The S.C. Senate should follow suit. House Speaker Pro Tem Doug Smith, R-Spartanburg, the bill's primary sponsor, made a common-sense case for addressing "a clear inconsistency when it comes to CDV." Lynn Hawkins, executive director of the SAFE Homes/Rape Crisis Coalition, hailed the bill that would end the out-of-state loophole, telling the News: " The more we allow the situation to progress in terms of multiple offenses, then the higher the risk of a homicide." Our state consistently places among the nation's worst in per-capita domestic- violence rankings.
April 16, 2008
CAUTION: May trigger
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April 14, 2008
“I just don’t buy it — I can’t reconcile it,” Alford told LaBounty. “On the other hand, you make a very good point the harm has already been done ...” .....what BS...... MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK - <font color=green>PM UPDATE: </font>Warner woman receives suspended sentence for enabling sexual abuse
And, in an update....:
Several hours after the sentence was pronounced, a woman identifying herself as
Sherry LaBounty’s twin sister, Terry Estes, said she did not believe the sentence was fair to Sherry LaBounty or her children.
She said her sister might later need her teaching certificate to make a decent living for the children. Sherry LaBounty has filed a divorce action against her husband, who is employed and provides support.
“I know my sister’s heart and how much she tried to do what was best and what was right — other people don’t know the whole situation,” Estes said.
I might buy this if he was abusing the mother also.....I guess I do need to add that, since I do know a couple women that has had something similar happen to them. Where they were being threatened or the kids lives were threatened if the mom told....so in that case, then yes I understand.....but, if that is the case here then why not just say it?
April 13, 2008
April 10, 2008
Currently, judges can order victims to attend aDV Victims in CA could go to jail
domestic violence program or perform as much as 72 hours of community service if
they won't testify. Those who still refuse after doing that can be jailed for up
to five days....
April 9, 2008
April 7, 2008
They also want to remove stigmas and inform people of the warning signs.... The Frederick News-Post Online - Frederick County Maryland Daily Newspaper
The grant, announced Friday (April 4), establishes the Family Justice Center Institute, a technology and training arm within the National Family Justice Center Alliance. The center will use technology and best practices to streamline service and provide training for employees and volunteers.... Verizon Verizon Awards $1 Million to National Family Justice Center Alliance to Help Improve Services for Survivors of Domestic Violence
More than 24,000 women between the ages of 15 and 49, participating in the study, were asked if they had experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former male partner. Those reporting violence were further asked if they had any subsequent physical and mental health problems....WHO: Domestic Violence Causes Women Physical and Mental Problems
April 4, 2008
Judiciary group OKs measure to make out-of-state convictions admissibleBy Robert W. Dalton
Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 | Updated: 9:35 am
COLUMBIA — South Carolina judges could consider out-of-state convictions when sentencing criminal domestic violence offenders under a bill headed to the House floor.
The bill, sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem Doug Smith, cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
Currently, only South Carolina convictions can be considered in South Carolina. The difference between a conviction for a first offense and a second or subsequent offense is significant.
The penalty for a first offense is up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $1,000 to $2,500, but a judge can suspended the jail time and fine if the offender agrees to complete a batterer treatment program.
If someone is convicted of a second offense, they face a mandatory minimum of 30 days up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,500 to $5,000. The judge can suspend the fine if a treatment program is completed.
A third offense requires a mandatory minimum of 1 year up to 5 years in jail.
April 3, 2008
But property management executive who represents landlords, however, said she was concerned the law would burden landlords.“If it works, that would be great, but I feel it targets landlords,” said Kathy Kintopf, account executive with Start Renting and board member of the Fox Valley Apartment Association.“I don’t know if it really protects anyone else in the building if that victim moves out,” Kintopf said. “Where does it stop? Would the bank let me out of my mortgage? Landlords are in favor of helping people, but I’m not
convinced this is the best way.”
HHHMMM...wondering here...which is the bigger burden: Letting someone out of a lease or rental early and then having to re-rent the place...OR...getting killed?? You decided... Wausau Daily Herald - New law allows domestic abuse victims out of rental agreements
April 2, 2008
In a press release issued Wednesday, Indianapolis Police Chief Michael Spears has asked that people be made aware of the need to seek help and guidance when in difficult situations instead of resorting to violence. "There are numerous social agencies available to assist wherein solutions can be found. The use of violence only causes pain and despair and never solves the underlying problem," the statement said.
This is the second father who decided to commit murder-suicide in the past couple months in the city, taking the lives of their children, and destroying lives of those left behind! Father's rights???
Read the story.
Aiyana's mother, who did not have custody of her 4-year old daughter, tried numerous times to get the authorities to help her daughter, whom she suspected of being abused.
Read the story on the appeal.
Domestic Violence Case Casts New Light on Court System
Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy would not comment about the
Castillo case but says judges do not turn a blind eye to domestic violence.
"I think for the large part, judges are very sensitive or particularly sensitive to the issues of domestic violence," McCarthy says.
I do not mean to be rude to this woman and her family over their loss, I do understand they would be devastated over this. However, this should show that judges are not sensitive to the issue of child abuse and family violence. Yes, by law they are supposed to weigh the proof, however, too many judges are not weighing the evidence and proof that are presented.
Women are told to document everything, to bring in police reports, medical records, etc....what if there aren't any? That is so often the case. a victim may not be able or allowed to call the cops. The abuser may not allow that to happen. This is just so sad that we still are fighting this in the same manner as we were years ago.
I have no easy fix for this, the laws are in place in most states to prevent this kind of thing, however; too many judges do what ever they feel like doing and innocent children are usually the ones that suffer the most at the hands of these so called defenders of justice!