Domestic Violence Connections
Domestic violence affects people every day across the United States. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states that on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically assaulted by an intimate partner in the United States. In one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. Because of the current culture surrounding domestic violence, survivors may face additional challenges in accessing resources, reporting to law enforcement, and generally throughout the legal process. Marsy's Law will help:
Right to fairness and dignity: The lack of understanding abuse is prevalent for domestic violence survivors who know their abuser. Many may experience not being believed because of the relationship between them and the accused, which can make continuing through the justice process even more difficult and traumatic.
Right to privacy: Domestic violence survivors may feel less able to disclose of violence or assault they’ve experienced out of fear that they may experience a fishing expedition. A fishing expedition is a search or investigation with the hope, though not the stated purpose, of discovering information. For example, interviewing past relationships as a way to show the survivor was unstable or even “crazy” in these relationships as well. A fishing expedition is an easy way to put blame on the survivor, as if they deserved the violence.
Right to be heard: The ability to voice the traumas of intimate partner violence to a sentencing court can have a profound impact on the survivors’ ability to seek justice.
Right to safety: Domestic violence survivors face their abuser being someone they know. These survivors should not have to live in fear that they’ll be retaliated against and experience additional violence for speaking out about the abuse they endured.
Right to notice of any release or escape: Again, the survivor may know their abuser and thus, it is imperative that they be notified of any release or escape. Many domestic violence survivors have a safety plan in place for when their abuser is out. Without notification of release or escape, the survivor cannot begin their safety plan and may be put in a life-or-death situation.
Right to restitution: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The aftermath of severe physical violence has a rippling effect, it is estimated that the cost of intimate partner violence over a victim’s lifetime was $103,767 for women and $23,414 for men. Thus, restitution is imperative to helping a survivor deal with the financial burdens of their abuse.
If you or someone you know needs help, call toll free: 1-800-799-7233 or text START to 88788