Role of judges attys svce providers


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Taking Domestic Violence Seriously: The Role of Judges, Lawyers & Service Providers.

Presented by: Sarah Buel, Clinical Professor and
Director, Halle Center for Family Justice
Arizona State U. Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Published in: News & Politics
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  • Instructor Script:
    DV is much more common than most health care providers, managers, administrators and policy-makers realize. The prevalence of DV and the adverse health effects are staggering.

    DV is virtually impossible to measure with absolute precision for a number of reasons, including the societal stigma that inhibits victims from disclosing their abuse and the varying definitions of abuse used from study-to-study. The estimates range from 960,000 incidents of violence against a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend per year to 3.9 million women raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually. (NVAW Survey, 1993)

    Nearly one-third of American women (31%) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to a 1998 Commonwealth Fund survey. (Commonwealth Fund, 1999)

    DV crosses all demographic groups, including educational, racial, and socioeconomic.

    In 1999, there were 1,642 murders a year by intimates, of those 74% (1,218) were women. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, 2001)

    Domestic violence is more prevalent among women than diabetes, breast cancer, and cervical cancer, all health problems routinely assessed for in clinical settings. (CDC: National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 1998) National Cancer Institute(SEER 1994 and 1997).
  • Role of judges attys svce providers

    1. 1. Sarah Buel, Clinical Professor and Director, Halle Center for Family Justice Arizona State U. Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
    2. 2. We must dream!
    3. 3. Extraordinary power in each role – how can we motivate optimal performance?
    4. 4. A. Gatekeepers for admission of evidence B. Implementation of laws C. Treat all parties with respect = “judicial demeanor” D. Comply with the Code of Judicial Conduct E. Hold offenders accountable under law F. _____________________ G. _____________________
    5. 5. A. Ensure that justice is served B. Enhance & preserve public safety C. Comply with ABA Code of Ethics D. Prepare cases & argue to protect victims & witnesses E. Hold offenders accountable under law F. ___________________ G. ___________________ H. ___________________
    6. 6. A. Ethical representation of client – including providing advice on laws & options B. Comply with ABA Code of Conduct C. When representing offender, ask “How can I ethically represent my client without endangering the victim?” see Lee Rosen article in ABA Lawyer’s Manual D. ________________________________ E. ________________________________
    7. 7. A. Serve & protect B. Promote public safety C. Comply with laws & dept. regulations D. Respond promptly to calls E. Collect evidence & take photos F. Interview witnesses, including children G. Write comprehensive incident reports H. _______________________ I. _______________________
    8. 8. A. Protect victims & witnesses (e.g. send letter with safety plan) B. Ensure offenders comply with terms of sentence C. _____________________ D. _____________________
    9. 9. A. Ensure child safety from neglect &/or abuse B. Ensure family safety & stability C. Comply with laws & dept. regs D. ___________________ E. ___________________
    10. 10. A. Ethical advocacy of what victim wants – unless good reason not to (discuss drugs, batterer, revenge) B. SAFETY PLANNING  with every contact C. Economic Empowerment D. Self-Esteem: the power of “self-talk” e.g. *”I am the wonderful gift I seek.” *”I can do anything I put my mind to.” F. TEACH US!
    11. 11. 1. Engage in ON-GOING SAFETY PLANNING, including self-care 2. Collect EVIDENCE of batterer’s abuse, coercion, nonpayment child support, etc. 3. Speak to the COURT & batterer 4. Write to officials (see 5. Give legislative/hearing testimony 6. Be LEADERS in community groups
    12. 12.  requires bold & sustained action to advance survivor’s opportunities and rights  and to ensure that women can participate and be heard.  Includes: 1. What is your dream? 2. Education 3. Job training/procurement & retention 4. ___________________ 5. ___________________ 6. ___________________
    13. 13. 1. G.E.D. (Urban League & Comm. Colleges free classes, then $95 fee for exam 2. Child Care 3. Transportation 4. Books, Supplies 5. Study 6. Mentor 7. Follow-Up 8. Ask for help when need it . . .
    14. 14. 1. TANF/ welfare for Family of 3 per mo: Miss $170 - TN $ 185 - TX $213 - AZ. $247 - Ill. $396 MI $489 – MN. $532 - CA. $679 1. Plan: house + car + job training + real job + counseling + medical care + glasses (Lion’s Club) + dentist + food.
    15. 15. Trained volunteers/ staff contact victims at 1, 3, 6, 12 & 18 mo. for follow-up  Ask: 1. Is it safe 4 U to talk? 2. Are you afraid? 3. How can we help?
    16. 16.  Volunteers document victim treatment in the courts for civil, criminal & child support proceedings.  For Materials and information contact BWJP 1-800-903-0111 or 
    17. 17. High-Risk Survivors Often Need More Help Screen for mental health issues Warn about substance abuse Increases Victim Safety!
    18. 18. 1. Criminal Record (Phoenix SEEDS Shelter) 2. Differently Able 3. Elderly 4. Gang-Involved 5. LGBT 6. Mental Illness 7. Mentally Impaired [Theresa Lewis + Brandy Holmes] 8. Sex Worker 9. Substance Abuse (Tulsa DVIS Shelter) 10. Undocumented
    19. 19.  We must have the humility to keep asking, how we can do this better?  What can we learn from victims, offenders & our colleagues to STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?  How can we stay accountable to survivors?
    20. 20. • Welcome survivors • LISTEN • Do comprehensive intake • Act Responsively to Needs/Concerns/Issues • Create HOLISTIC responses • Share power, e.g. Teach us how to collect evidence
    21. 21. Race, Ethnicity & Culture Poverty Gender + ‘other’ Increases Victim Safety!
    22. 22.  Violation of Protective Order = criminal offense  Often additional crime committed, e.g. *Assault *Battery *Sexual Assault *Harassment *Murder *Destruction of Property *Stalking *Arson *Threats *Burglary *Terroristic Threats  How can you document these crimes?
    23. 23.  works to free women prisoners who were convicted of murder  but who acted in self-defense against abusers & did not receive due process or fair trials; &  to conduct public education & advocacy for justice, human rights and humane alternatives to incarceration for women. 
    25. 25. 1. I am afraid for your safety. 2. I am afraid for your children’s safety. 3. It will only get worse. 4. We are here for you when you are ready. 5. You don’t deserve to be abused. 6. How can I help?
    26. 26. WT is most common intimate partner violence (IPV) & child abuse crime, yet least raised, charged, prosecuted & sentenced.  What is system response?
    27. 27. Terrifies victims Enables guilty offenders to go free Sabotages hard-won legal gains Decreases Victim Safety!
    29. 29.  Endearments  Pleas for Forgiveness  Bribery/ Gifts  Threats re: custody, physical harm  New Assaults  Court Manipulation  Vexatious Over-Litiation  3rd Parties Collusion
    30. 30.  Document all witness tampering!  Letter to defendant and his lawyer outlining why this conduct constitutes witness tampering, obstruction &/or retaliation + attach copy of law  If victim agrees, report crime to police & DA  If very dangerous, discuss client moving or going underground
    31. 31.  In response to WITNESS TAMPERING, DOCTRINE of FORFEITURE by WRONGDOING evolved as equitable remedy  = if Defendant silences Victim (thru bribery, threats, violence),  then he LOSES Right to OBJECT to Victim’s PRIOR STATEMENTS coming in at trial.
    32. 32.  “One who obtains the absence of a witness by wrongdoing forfeits the constitutional right to confrontation.” Davis  Proof by a preponderance of evidence,  Can use HEARSAY in forfeiture hearing.
    33. 33.  Jail mail - tell victims to save all!  Jail calls – booking calls, esp. near court settings  Jail visitor logs - Did victim visit right after served with subpoena?  Past contact with same victim  Victim Statements to friends, doctors, therapists, co-workers, witnesses about fear.  What else?
    34. 34.  Victim must be available for cross:  Available = in the witness chair  If victim “cannot remember” = AVAILABLE  If 6th Am right satisfied, then hearsay is admissible without analysis under Crawford, Davis & Giles
    35. 35. A. Giles v. Calf. (128 S.Ct. 2678 (2008)).  if state wants to admit victim’s past statements, must prove defendant’s motive for murder was to silence victim.  PROBLEM after Giles: Δs not only INCENTIVIZED to make Victims unavailable, but now REWARDED for doing so . . . because LOSS of Victim statements usually fatal to case.
    36. 36.  PRIOR ABUSE AS INTENT  SCALIA: said @ end of Giles decision, evidence of a defendant’s PRIOR ABUSE may be admissible if it “EXPRESSED THE INTENT” to prevent a victim’s testimony, “where such an abusive relationship culminates in murder.”
    37. 37.  Justice Souter’s concurrence:  intent to silence should be inferred with proof of “CLASSIC ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP”  + argues that there is no basis to suspect framers would have disagreed with the inference that forfeiture’s requisite intent could be met with evidence of a “classic abusive relationship”.
    38. 38.  J. Souter adds, “If the evidence for admissibility shows a continuing relationship of this sort, it would make no sense to suggest that the oppressing defendant miraculously abandoned the dynamics of abuse the instant before he killed his victim, say in a fit of anger.” (emphasis added)  . . . OF WHICH OBSESSIVE CONTROL IS A HALLMARK TRAIT.
    39. 39. Prior Abuse as Intent  Giles said, “Earlier abuse, or threats of abuse, intended to dissuade the victim from resorting to outside help would be highly relevant to this inquiry, as would evidence of ongoing criminal proceedings at which the victim would have been expected to testify.” (emphasis added)  at 2693.
    40. 40.  Evidence of prior acts with the complaining witness can directly bolster the complaining witness's testimony by providing significant corroboration;  when used for such a purpose, this evidence is admissible and not considered propensity evidence.  State v. Dietrich, 204 P.3d 748 (2009).
    41. 41.  Witness testimony regarding past incidents of domestic violence between defendant and victim was relevant to show absence of mistake regarding victim's injuries.  State v. Romero, 139 N.M. 386, 133 P.3d 842 (2006), certiorari granted 139 N.M. 429, 134 P.3d 120, affirmed 141 N.M. 403, 156 P.3d 694, rehearing denied, certiorari dismissed 128 S.Ct. 976, 169 L.Ed.2d 799. Criminal Law 371(1)
    42. 42. 1. Accord and Satisfaction 2. Over-Litigiousness 3. Borderline Criminal Conduct 4. Relentless, Retaliatory Harassment 5. Attorney Collusion 6. Non-violent terror (think Tony Soprano)
    43. 43. Advocates and Survivors are at the table Decision-making is joint We Allow Criticism and Respect, Anger and Frustration We Don’t Retaliate Against Survivors and Critics *Teach us how to collect & preserve evidence!
    44. 44. •Focus Groups •Exit Interviews •Forums •Dialogue Sessions •Cross-Trainings
    45. 45.
    46. 46.