Domestic violence registry launched in California

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.—Four California counties are rolling out a new software system that will eventually link domestic violence records across the entire state.

Marin, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Orange counties are taking part in a pilot program that will provide a searchable database of scanned restraining orders. Marin last week became the first county to begin using the system.

The state judiciary ordered the creation of the California Courts Protective Order Registry to help judges create protective orders that are consistent across county lines.

The registry will also track elder abuse, harassment, workplace violence and juvenile cases.

Court administrators plan to include 20 counties in the system by the end of the year and all 58 California counties by 2013.

Source

Connecticut: New Laws Enhance Workplace Protections for DV Victims

Effective October 1, 2010, two new laws are strengthening the protections available to family violence victims in the workplace and require virtually all employers in Connecticut to provide employees who are victims of domestic violence with up to 12 days of family violence leave per calendar year.

The new law enhances existing protections for crime victims at work, and now more explicitly prohibits an employer from refusing to hire, terminating, penalizing, threatening, or otherwise retaliating against any employee because the worker is a victim of family violence or because the employee attends or participates in a court proceeding related to a civil case in which he or she is a victim of family violence.

Another section of the bill gives employees a new right to take “family violence leave,” by requiring all Connecticut employers with three or more workers to provide family violence victims with at least 12 days of paid or unpaid leave if reasonably necessary to:

  • seek medical care or psychological or other counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability,
  • obtain services from a victim services organization,
  • relocate due to family violence reasons, or
  • participate in any civil or criminal proceeding related to or resulting from such family violence.

The new law does not require employers to pay the employee while on leave but permits employees to use their accrued compensatory time, vacation time, personal days, or other paid time off in connection with the leave.   Source

Kentucky Microloans Build Battered Women’ Credit

The Kentucky Domestic Violence Association’s microloans are truly micro; between just $200 and $800. But they are interest-free and monitored by Experian and TransUnion, giving borrowers a chance to build their credit profile in the process.

The Kentucky Domestic Violence Association has extended interest-free microloans to 41 women throughout its 15 member organizations since 2009. The loans are pegged to savings accounts that match every dollar saved with two dollars, doubling the financial lift.

While the interest-free loan is truly micro–typically between just $200 and $800 –it can provide a crucial financial boost, enough to help a woman fleeing abuse meet the first month’s rent on an apartment or pay for transportation to a new job. At the same time it can protect her from a predatory or “payday” lender that can charge interest rates that go as high as 400 percent, taken annually.

See full story on Women’s eNews

Intimate partner homicide trends

Female murder victims are substantially more likely than male murder victims to have been killed by an intimate partner.

In recent years:

– About one third of female murder victims were killed by an intimate partner.
– About 3% of male murder victims were killed by an intimate partner.
– Of all female murder victims, the proportion killed by an intimate partner has been increasing.
– Of male murder victims, the proportion killed by an intimate partner has dropped.

Most intimate partner homicides involved spouses, although in recent years the number of deaths by boyfriends and girlfriends was about the same.

Source and data view Bureau of Justice Statisics Homicide Trends in the U.S.