13 Feb. 1995, pages A1 - A5. It began with a story about a battered woman who dropped charges against her repeat offender boyfriend, then was murdered by him.
Msg#: 303 Date: 02-17-95 19:00
From: Valorie Zimmerman Read: Yes Replied: No
To: All Mark:
Subj: Domestic Violence
I've been reading with interest the thread on domestic violence, and came
across an article in my local newspaper "The Valley Daily News," Kent, WA,USA,
13 Feb. 1995, pages A1 & A5.
It began with a story about a battered woman who dropped charges against her
repeat offender boyfriend, then was murdered by him. "We're getting tired of
seeing people walking in for the umpteenth time and laughing at the system
because they can threaten the victim and get away with anything," said Kent
City Attorney Roger Lubovich.
That frustration is behind a national trend toward "victimless prosecution" of
demestic violence cases -- which means pursuing the cases even if the victim
wants to drop the charges.
Such aggressive prosceution requires police to gather evidence in domestic
violence cases almost as they would at murder scenes. That means
photographs, extensive reports and gathering of physical evidence and
collecting detailed written statements from witnesses, including the victim.
Last fall, King County initiated a program to do just that with felony
domestic violence cases. [article continues with local details]
related news article: The story of a specific instance where this new
approach worked. "It slowly built up," she said. "There was a lot of verbal
abuse, a little bit of physical, until the assault." Pam had moved out once,
but he wooed her back. "He was very sweet, wanted to be forgiven......" etc.
"She's grateful that the system removed any reponsibility for pressing charges
from her shoulders. "It makes him see what he's done isn't judged on what I
thin, it's judged on the law, what the population as as whole thinks: It's
wrong," she said.
I would like to discuss why this approach has not ALWAYS been taken. I think
it should have.
Second issue: accompanying chart, gives Kent city dv statistics: Victims:
Female, 355, 78%. Male, 95, 22%. Defendants: Female: 75, 17%. Male: 369, 83%.
Cases involving Children: 300, Pregnant victims, 12, alcohol or drug abuse,
148. Most victims white, 327, 73%. No surprise, since Kent is mostly white.
Black, 83, 18%, Asian, 22, 5%, Native American, 10, 2%, Hispanic, 8, 2%.
Number of victims and defendants by age: 0-17, 21 victims. 18-25, 210 victims,
158 def.26-35, 134 victims, 193 def. 36-55, 87 victims, 93 def. 56+, 2
So, in Kent at least, the perps are overwhelmingly male, and seem to be older
than their victims. Keep in mind, this was for CASES in Kent, not convictions.
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