Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

December-19-02

Virginia Prosecutors No Longer Assigned to Some Domestic Violence Cases

As state legislatures struggle to balance their budgets in the face of a nationwide, cumulative deficit of $40 billion and the worst budget crisis since World War II, domestic violence victims in states such as Virginia are the ones paying the price. Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Bryant announced late last month that prosecutors will no longer handle misdemeanor domestic violence cases. As of early December, victims of domestic violence must go it alone in court.

“I deeply regret that the victims of domestic abuse will not have a prosecutor on their side, while the defendants will be able to retain their own attorneys or have attorneys appointed for them if they are considered indigent,” Bryant said in a statement, as reported in The Virginian-Pilot.

Misdemeanor domestic violence cases involve the use, or attempted use, of physical force (simple assault, assault and battery). In what is commonly known as the cycle of violence, domestic abuse often starts out with incidents reported as misdemeanor cases and spirals into more serious incidents – about 1 in 5 women victimized by their spouse or ex-spouse report that they were the victim of a series of similar crimes and sustained at least three assaults within six months, according to the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women.

Bryant told The Pilot that his office prosecutes approximately 2,000 of these cases each year. Statewide, domestic violence hotlines in Virginia respond to approximately 21,000 calls from family violence victims this year, and an additional 21,000 calls from friends, family members and professionals working with victims. Shelters provided safe refuge for 3,756 women and 3,636 children for an average stay of nearly three weeks at a time. However, 4,706 families who request shelter are turned away – or 56 percent of the total number of families seeking shelter.

Media Resources: New York Times 12/19/02; Boston Globe 12/15/02; The Virginian Pilot 11/23/02; National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women: Domestic Violence Statistics


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/1/2014 Constitutional Court Invalidates Uganda's Anti-Gay Law - Uganda's Constitutional Court today struck down - on procedural grounds - a package of anti-gay policies signed into law this February by President Yoweri Museveni, but left room for lawmakers to attempt to pass the law, or another version of it, again. Ten petitioners, including activists, academics, advocates, and MPs, challenged the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act in court, claiming that it was passed improperly and violated the constitutional rights of Ugandans to live free from discrimination and with privacy and dignity. . . .
 
8/1/2014 Congress Introduces Legislation to Protect Students from Sexual Assault - A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill Wednesday that aims to address the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. The Campus Accountability and Safety Act, cosponsored by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Dean Heller (R-NV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), focuses on steps colleges can take to proactively protect students. . . .
 
8/1/2014 A Call for Action to Reduce Gun Deaths Among Victims of Domestic Violence - Over 250 people gathered inside the Dirksen Senate building on Wednesday to support legislation aimed at decreasing intimate partner homicide through gun violence. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) chaired the standing-room only Senate Judiciary Committee hearing - which required an overflow room - and was joined by Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. . . .