U.S. Senator Joseph Biden is drafting a new bill that would create a network of 100,000 legal volunteers who would work for domestic violence victims. Biden is the author of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act that developed and funded federal programs to aid domestic violence victims.
Studies by the Institute for Law and Justice and the National Center for Victims and Crime say that only 170,000 low income survivors of domestic violence obtain legal representation for their case each year. This figure is less than 20% of the more than 1 million people who become victims of domestic violence annually.
Biden believes that domestic violence is an issue that needs to be addressed every year by the government. “Combating violence in the home is like cutting the grass,” said Biden.
If approved, Biden’s bill would develop a network of attorneys willing to volunteer their services in representing domestic violence victims. The bill would also establish a fund to help lawyers who spend most of their professional life representing domestic violence victims by making it easier for these attorneys to pay back their school loans.
Currently, $85,000/year is the average salary for a lawyer joining a private law firm. Meanwhile, lawyers who enter the public sector for the first time usually earn an average $35,000 annually. According to the ABA in Chicago, the combined graduate school and undergraduate debt of most attorneys is over $85,000.
Senator Biden is also creating a bill that would help fight violence against women internationally. Called the International Violence Against Women Act, this legislation would be a commitment by the US to end violence against women on a global level.
According to a report by the World Health Organization, somewhere between 1/5 to ¾ of all women in the world have been victims of sexual or physical violence by the time they turn 15.
Domestic violence usually refers to violence between intimate partners, such as spouses, legal partners, former partners, and people who are dating one another. The California Penal Code defines abuse as “intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent, serious bodily injury to himself, herself or another.”
Domestic Violence Statistics in California for 2005:
-155 murders were committed due to domestic violence -45,083 people were arrested for domestic violence -Every year, nearly 6% of women in California sustain physical injuries caused by domestic violence.
Sagaria Law, P.C. represents clients who have been the victims of domestic violence. If you would like to speak to an attorney on behalf of yourself or a loved one regarding a domestic violence incident, contact Sagaria Law, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation.
New Bill Would Help Domestic Violence Victims, Alternet.org, January 15, 2007
Domestic Violence, Safestate.org
Related Web Resource:
Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice