Many forms of legislation surrounding the issue of domestic violence exist on various federal, state, and local levels. Across the country, some states are doing better than others in enacting laws that protect victims. Police protection, judicial protections, and protections in the workplace are all examples of the types of laws that currently exist. Not all states, however, are doing enough. Even federal laws as well engrained as OSHA come up short in requiring organizations to create a work environment free of dangers, such as workplace violence.
Bringing consistent and cutting-edge, life-saving domestic violence legislation to every state in the country to ensure every victim has equal protections against this heinous crime is a primary goal of the Center for Domestic Violence Policy. For example, organizations should be able to receive protection orders against potential offenders to ensure a safe working environment for victims and their coworkers. These organizations should also be required to provide job protection for victims of domestic violence, something that very few states have actually enacted. Expanding legislation such as VESSA, in Illinois, to include tougher and broader language is also needed.
Early intervention and education is key to preventing escalation of this crime that finds its way from generation to generation. Domestic violence awareness is critical for all age groups, especially younger teens. Teen dating violence is at an all-time record high…thus, choosing a partner can not only be difficult, but can lead to catastrophic situations.
Education programs are designed for all types of audiences. Providing useful and comprehensive training programs in companies, schools, community organizations, and associations are just one way CDVP creates awareness. Classroom-style training, webinars, and presentations are utilized regularly. These programs encompass interactive tools, table-top exercises, and role playing to ensure the participants get the most from the event.
Educating young people, both boys and girls, on the signs of potential partners that may have personality disorders, and/or become abusive is a critical element of the education initiative. Often times, abusive individuals can court their victims in a very attractive and enticing manner. However, if these individuals have been educated on the signs, characteristics, and patterns of individuals who are abusive, they are much more likely to recognize these traits early on in the relationship and terminate the relationship without harm.
At least half the women who leave their abusers are stalked, harassed, or attacked by them. Violence quickly escalates after the separation. There are common risk factors that clearly point to the likelihood of extreme violence and/or intimate partner homicide. Threat assessment becomes an instrumental tool in preventing and minimizing future violence and can be the difference between life and death. In many stalking cases, setting an appropriate bond can be difficult in light of the fact that the offender may not have any previous contacts with the law. Illinois amended their statute to include dangerousness assessment for purposes of bail. Other states have also created similar statutes to address this issue. Thus, the prosecutors can now introduce lethality indicators to the Judge during the bail hearing.
This training program, geared towards those in law enforcement and the judicial system, provides participants with the ability to recognize and assess lethality indicators during all court proceedings. Participants will be able to identify lethal risk factors based on the most recent research and studies, identify the future risk to the victim and the community, and will be able to assess and apply that information during a bond hearing, motion in limine, trial and/or sentencing.
In addition, training is provided on methods to create or enhance the existing domestic violence division of a municipality. These include strategies to develop public-private partnerships, programs to target high-risk abusers, and developing on-site resources for victims.