Monthly Archives: April 2014

Report: Almost half of Maine homicides are domestic violence – Recommendations

The 68-page report outlines the detailed observations and recommendations made by the panel. In 2012 and 2013, the roughly 30 members of the board reviewed 21 cases of domestic-violence homicide that occurred between April 2009 and September 2013. The cases represent those that were closed during the review period.

Of those 21 cases, 17 homicides involved intimate partners, while the remaining four involved violence committed against family members other than a spouse. The 21 perpetrators attacked 27 victims. Nearly all the victims were killed, while several others were seriously injured and just one escaped the attack without injury.

Of the 21 killings reviewed, one involved a father killing his 4-month-old child. In another case, a 6-week-old boy was in his mother’s arms when the attacker shot her multiple times in the back. Other children were forced to watch as one parent killed another. One was even put to bed by his father in the same room as his mother’s dead body, moments after she had been killed by the child’s father.

All told, the 21 cases of homicide exposed 14 children to killings by an abusive parent, the report states.

“That’s 14 children who lost one or both parents, 14 children of all ages, from three weeks to 17 years, whose lives were forever disrupted and traumatized.”

The report includes dozens of pages of recommendations, including proposals for police, prosecutors, judges, health providers, state officials and the public. They include recommendations that:

• Law enforcement agencies increase collaboration with domestic abuse resource centers.

• Police officers offer victims and offenders domestic abuse referral services and other necessary information, similar to a “blue card” handed out by officers in the Bangor Police Department.

• Health care providers regularly screen all patients, in private, for physical abuse and coercive behavior.

• Schools offer ongoing and consistent education about domestic abuse and dating violence at all levels.

• The judicial system and police work even more diligently to secure all firearms that courts order be relinquished by perpetrators.

Lisa Marchese, assistant attorney general for homicide and member of the panel, said the group observed that the presence of firearms makes bad situations likely to become worse. More than half the domestic-violence homicides reviewed were perpetrated with guns, which continue to be the weapon of choice for killers.

“Domestic violence often escalates in severity over time, and the presence of a firearm increases the likelihood that it will escalate to homicide. All too often, the only difference between a battered woman and a dead woman is the presence of a gun,” she said, quoting a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Source / Full Story

Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

The Violence Against Women Act was expanded in 2013 to allow Native American tribes to prosecute non-Indians in cases involving domestic violence. Before that, women such as Frances Cupis were unable to press charges against violent partners in tribal court.

ON PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, ARIZ. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.

“We would literally drive them to the end of the reservation and tell them to beat it,” Valenzuela said. “And hope they didn’t come back that night. They almost always did.”

Full Story and video from Washington Post.

Annual Fundraiser: Safe at Home Softball Tournament June 7

Save the Date Softball Tournament 2014

Safe at Home Co-Ed Softball Tournament, the S.H.A.R.E., Inc. Domestic Violence Program annual fundraiser, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, June 7, 2014 at the Joslin-Needham Softball Complex in Brush, Colorado.

The event features a One Pitch Co-Ed Tournament and a Homerun Tournament. Call to reserve your spot right away! Entry fee is $200 per team; corporate sponsorships are available.

In the event of rain, the tournament will be held Sunday, June 8.

For more information and to register call Jan at the S.H.A.R.E., Inc. office at (970) 867-4444.