Battered Women’s Justice Project: Model Policy For Prosecutors and Judges on Imposing, Modifying and Lifting Criminal No Contact Orders
Colorado Supreme Court — February 16, 2010
No. 07SC1088. People v. Disher. http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=7504&courtid=2
People v. Disher is a domestic violence criminal case appealed by the Adams County District Attorney’s Office to the Colorado Supreme Court. The issue was whether a sexual relationship is necessary to prove an intimate relationship in order to invoke a domestic violence sentencing enhancer.
The Adams County District Attorney petitioned for certiorari, challenging the district court’s affirmance of a county court ruling that no domestic violence evaluation could be required of defendant James Brian Disher when he was convicted of harassing a woman whom he had dated. Under the relevant statute, the perpetrator of a crime and his or her victim must be, or have been, in an “intimate relationship” for the crime to constitute domestic violence. § 18-6-800.3, C.R.S. (2009). The county court held that evidence of a sexual relationship must be presented before a court can find that an intimate relationship exists. Because the county court heard no evidence of a sexual relationship, and therefore found no intimate relationship, the court ruled that Disher could not be required to undergo a domestic violence evaluation after he was convicted of harassing the victim. On appeal the district court upheld the county court ruling.
The Supreme Court reversed the district court and held that evidence of a sexual relationship is not necessary to establish the existence of an intimate relationship. The opinion states that “a sexual relationship may be an indicator, but never a necessary condition, of an intimate relationship for the purpose of the Colorado domestic violence statute.”
The full opinion can be accessed here.
Four nonprofit organizations will team up to provide services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in northeast Colorado with the help of a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.
The Rural VAWA grant was awarded through S.H.A.R.E. Inc. Domestic Violence Program in Fort Morgan and includes Help for Abused Partners in Sterling, the New Directions Project of the Rural Communities Resource Center in Yuma, and S.A.R.A., Inc., Sexual Assault Response Advocates Program in Fort Morgan. The programs provide services in the six county area of Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington and Yuma.
The multi-agency partnership is committed to reducing domestic violence and sexual assault in northeast Colorado, accountability for perpetrators, a genuine concern for safety of victims of violence and their children, and openness to new approaches to combating these forms of violence. The grant focuses on outreach to underserved remote rural areas and funds bilingual (Spanish) victim advocate positions.
The partners in this collaboration provide prevention programs, crisis intervention, long term support, training for law enforcement agencies, and educational programs in the schools.
S.H.A.R.E. services include emergency shelter and 24-hour crisis line response, individual advocacy and support groups for battered women in English and Spanish, children and teen program for shelter and outreach children, court advocacy for both English and Spanish speaking clients, assistance with protection orders and victim compensation, and assistance and referral to other resource agencies. S.H.A.R.E. also facilitates a transitional housing program for battered women with children and Safe Haven supervised child visitation and safe visitation exchange program.
S.A.R.A. provides forensic examinations for victims of reported and non-reported cases of adult sexual assault, and reported cases of child abuse and child sexual abuse in the Thirteenth Judicial District.
Help for Abused Partners provides emergency shelter, crisis intervention, transitional housing, bilingual court advocacy, and group and individual support.
New Directions in Yuma and Washington Counties has added two bilingual domestic violence advocates to their team with the new grant. The Resource Center also provides individual support, economic self-sufficiency and women’s health programs that assist victims of domestic violence and other women to make positive changes in their lives.
The grant starts this month and will run for two years.
The Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Assistance Program (Rural VAWA) was established by Congress in 1994 to enhance the safety of children, youth, and adults who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking by supporting projects uniquely designed to address and prevent these crimes in rural jurisdictions.
For more information contact SHARE at 970.867.4444 and online at www.sharemorgancounty.org. The toll free contact number for the domestic violence programs in northeast Colorado is 877.867.9590. S.A.R.A. can be reached by calling 970.867. 2121 and is online at www.sarainc.org.
S.H.A.R.E., Inc. is pleased to announce that the Anschutz Family Foundation has issued a challenge grant to our Board of Directors. If we are able to raise $5,000 by April 15, 2010, the Foundation will match it dollar for dollar.
S.H.A.R.E. staff and Board are not shy about meeting challenges. Our program, started in 1981, has grown from a small network of volunteers utilizing volunteer homes to a comprehensive domestic violence shelter and outreach program. We now have a comfortable and confidential emergency shelter as well as a separate outreach facility that houses staff offices, space for support groups, and the Safe Haven supervised visitation and safe exchange program.
How We Help
Emergency shelter and 24-hour crisis line response
Children programs and support groups for shelter and outreach children
Court advocacy, assistance with protective orders and victim compensation
Supervised visitation and safe exchange program
Emergency financial assistance
24 month transitional housing program for up to six families
The past 28 years has seen many improvements in services to battered women and their children but there are still many challenges ahead.
How You Can Help
We must raise $5,000 in order to access these funds in full. Would you be willing to donate to this cause? We will accept donations of any amount. Thank you for any support you can provide.
Make check or money order to
PO Box 414
Fort Morgan CO 80701
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release March 2, 2010
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH, 2010
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Countless women have steered the course of our history, and their stories are ones of steadfast determination. From reaching for the ballot box to breaking barriers on athletic fields and battlefields, American women have stood resolute in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles to realize their full measure of success. Women’s History Month is an opportunity for us to recognize the contributions women have made to our Nation, and to honor those who blazed trails for women’s empowerment and equality.
Women from all walks of life have improved their communities and our Nation. Sylvia Mendez and her family stood up for her right to an education and catalyzed the desegregation of our schools. Starting as a caseworker in city government, Dr. Dorothy Height has dedicated her life to building a more just society. One of our young heroes, Caroline Moore, contributed to advances in astronomy by discovering a supernova at age 14.
When women like these reach their potential, our country as a whole prospers. That is the duty of our Government — not to guarantee success, but to ensure all Americans can achieve it. My Administration is working to fulfill this promise with initiatives like the White House Council on Women and Girls, which promotes the importance of taking women and girls into account in Federal policies and programs. This council is committed to ensuring our Government does all it can to give our daughters the chance to achieve their dreams.
As we move forward, we must correct persisting inequalities. Women comprise over 50 percent of our population but hold fewer than 17 percent of our congressional seats. More than half our college students are female, yet when they graduate, their male classmates still receive higher pay on average for the same work. Women also hold disproportionately fewer science and engineering jobs. That is why my Administration launched our Educate to Innovate campaign, which will inspire young people from all backgrounds to drive America to the forefront of science, technology, engineering, and math. By increasing women’s participation in these fields, we will foster a new generation of innovators to follow in the footsteps of the three American women selected as 2009 Nobel Laureates.
Our Nation’s commitment to women’s rights must not end at our own borders, and my Administration is making global women’s empowerment a core pillar of our foreign policy. My Administration created the first Office for Global Women’s Issues and appointed an Ambassador at Large to head it. We are working with the United Nations and other international institutions to support women’s equality and to curtail violence against women and girls, especially in situations of war and conflict. We are partnering internationally to improve women’s welfare through targeted investments in agriculture, nutrition, and health, as well as programs that empower women to contribute to economic and social progress in their communities. And we are following through on the commitments I made in Cairo to promote access to education, improve literacy, and expand employment opportunities for women and girls.
This month, let us carry forth the legacy of our mothers and grandmothers. As we honor the women who have shaped our Nation, we must remember that we are tasked with writing the next chapter of women’s history. Only if we teach our daughters that no obstacle is too great for them, that no ceiling can block their ascent, will we inspire them to reach for their highest aspirations and achieve true equality.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America , by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States , do hereby proclaim March 2010 as Women’s History Month. I call upon all our citizens to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that honor the history, accomplishments, and contributions of American women.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.