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

5/27/2015 California Passes Reproductive FACT Act - The California State Assembly passed the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act yesterday. AB 775, or the FACT Act, passed 48-25 in a vote, and requires that unlicensed facilities in California that provide pregnancy-related services disclose that they are not licensed medical providers. . . .
 
5/26/2015 Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage - Over the weekend, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to pass a national referendum legalizing same-sex marriage. Ireland became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through popular vote on Friday. . . .
 
5/26/2015 Maryland Governor Will Not Veto LGBT Rights Bills - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) has announced that he will not veto two pieces of legislation protecting LGBT rights passed by the state legislature in March, meaning they will soon become law. The Maryland General Assembly passed SB 743 / HB 862 and SB 416 / HB 838 by wide margins and with bipartisan support on March 24, after which both were sent to the Governor's desk. . . .