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California’s Domestic Violence Intervention Training Program Needs Improvement, According To State Auditor

A California state auditor has found that only about 50% of domestic batterers that have been ordered to join an intervention program ever complete their training, while up to 25% of the individuals who were convicted of domestic violence never even join the program-nor do these batterers get penalized for the truancy, because the courts are never notified that these individuals did not complete the training.

25,000 convicted batterers, who were supposed to join an intervention program (a year long course that involves counseling), were surveyed for the results, says Elaine Howle, the state auditor. Her office also interviewed probation workers in all 58 California Counties. They also reviewed specific cases in Riverside County, Los Angeles County, Butte County, and San Mateo County.

Officials say the failure to complete an intervention program is probably a cause for repeat offenses.

Domestic Violence Statistics For California:
· In 2004,169 murders were committed as a result of domestic violence.

· California law enforcement agencies reported 181,362 domestic violence calls in 2005.
(Department of Justice, Criminal Justice Statistics Center)

National Statistics: Domestic Violence
· About 22 percent of murders in 2002 were family murders (Family Violence Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, June 2005).

· Family violence accounted for 11 percent of all reported and unreported violence between 1998 and 2002 (Family Violence Statistics, 2005).

· Nearly 5.3 million intimate partner victimizations occur among U.S. women ages 18 and older each year. This violence results in nearly 2 million injuries and nearly 1,300 deaths. Of the intimate partner injuries, more than 555,000 require medical attention and more than 145,000 are serious enough to warrant hospitalization for one or more nights. Intimate partner violence also results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year (Centers for Disease Control).

· Firearms were the major weapon type used in intimate partner homicides from 1981-1998 (Paulozzi, et al. 2001, see www.athealth.com/consumer/disorders/domviol.html).

· Abuse in relationships exists among all classes, races and cultural groups, although women between ages 16 and 24 are nearly three times more vulnerable to intimate partner violence (Intimate Partner Violence & Age of Victim, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999).

· In a national study of college students, 27.5% of the women surveyed said that they had suffered rape or attempted rape at least once since age 14. Only 5% of those experiences were reported to the police. The term “hidden rape” has emerged because this survey and many other studies found that sexual assaults are seldom reported to the police (Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC, 2003).

If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you may want to consider filing a temporary restraining order (TRO). A restraining order can direct the named party to not approach you, your home, your vehicle, or your work. It can also prohibit the named person from making an effort to communicate with you.

You can ask for a restraining order if you have been abused by:
· Someone you are dating.
· A relative.
· A spouse or ex-spouse.
· A romantic partner who you live or used to live with.

A restraining order can force the restrained person to:
· Not contact you.
· Stay away from you, your family, or the people that you live with.
· Move out of your home.
· Pay child, spousal, or partner support.
· Obey child custody and visitation orders
· Not be allowed to possess a weapon.

A family law attorney from Sagaria Law, P.C. can help you file a TRO with the courts. We have offices in San Jose, Monterey, and Fremont, and we work with clients in Santa Clara County, Monterey County, and Alameda County. Contact Sagaria Law, P.C. today for a free, no obligation consultation.

Flaws found in domestic-violence intervention program, San Francisco Chronicle, November 22, 2006
Domestic Violence Facts, Safestate.org

Related Web Resource:

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence