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.
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .