PA Supreme Court Rules Domestic Violence Victims Must Testify Against Their Abusers
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled last week that victims of domestic violence must testify against their abusers regardless of whether they intend to press charges. The unanimous decision that overruled a lower court's decision was based on an incident in which Kellie Kirkner was choked and beaten by her husband Joseph Kirkner in 1999. Mrs. Kirkner obtained a protection order against her husband last May; however, she refused to testify against him, citing that "she wished to preserve her marriage and family."
Chester County First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Carmody applauded the ruling saying: "It's crucial to an effective prosecution in these types of cases. Too many of these cases become homicides." The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence came out against the ruling, asserting that victims will become even more reluctant to bring charges against their abusers if they know that they will then be forced to face them in a courtroom.
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .