Tuesday, May 24, 2016

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

April 26, 2016 by Ruth D. Reichard

What is 20 years old, confidential, never stops working, and saves countless lives? The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Established as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-322), the Hotline originated from the Violence Against Women Act, which authorized the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award a [...]

NICS: National Instant Background Check System

NICS: National Instant Background Check System

February 25, 2016 by Ruth D. Reichard

The Power of the Pen: What happens behind the scenes
Judges wield tremendous power, often literally with a stroke of their pens as they sign their names on orders and findings. When the cases involve family violence, routine decisions—whether to check the “Brady box” on a protection order, or whether to make the domestic violence determination [...]

The Dropout Problem: Part 2

January 25, 2016 by Ruth Reichard

What is behind it and what judges can do about it
In Part 1 of this article in the September/October issue of Court Times, we considered research on the high victim attrition rate in criminal domestic violence cases, as well as some laws that judges can use to help ensure the integrity of the proceedings. In [...]

The Dropout Problem: Part 1

November 20, 2015 by Ruth Reichard

What is behind it & what judges can do about it
A judge presiding over a criminal docket will quickly conclude that family violence cases are different.
In an auto theft case, for example, the victim is usually cooperative: she wants to help the police and prosecutor bring the perpetrator to justice for his crime. But in [...]

Firearms & Protection Orders: Considering Surrender

July 14, 2015 by Ruth Reichard

Ordering respondents to surrender firearms is not always easy for courts—it can mean more work for staff, extra hearings to ensure compliance, and negotiations with local law enforcement about storing the weapons and ammunition. But the power to order surrender of firearms as part of issuing a protection order is a vital means of reducing [...]

Teen dating abuse: What you need to know

Teen dating abuse: What you need to know

The words “teen dating” usually bring to mind awkward silences, shy smiles, and high school proms. But for some adolescents and teens, dating also involves behaviors that the court system would recognize as stalking, battering, or worse.

Research into teen dating violence is ongoing—the National Institute of Justice is currently sponsoring a very large study in [...]

Technology & Intimate Partner Violence

February 24, 2015 by Ruth Reichard

While technology is not inherently violent, people who engage in intimate partner violence often employ technology as a means of obtaining and maintaining coercive control. Various technologies equip offenders with very efficient means to commit the crimes of stalking, intimidation, and harassment, while also enabling them to pinpoint their victims’ physical locations. Although it is [...]

Judicial Oversight in Domestic Violence Cases

October 3, 2014 by Ruth Reichard

If you are a judicial officer reading this, chances are you’ve issued an order or two in your career. You did so with the belief that the parties involved would obey those court orders, right? One way to find out if someone is complying with an order is to wait for the filing of notices [...]

Children Who Witness Violence

Children Who Witness Violence

June 26, 2014 by Ruth Reichard

I once heard a judge compare her civil protection order docket to an emergency room—especially the ex parte cases. What an apt comparison!
Judges and court staff often deal with people who have been physically, mentally, and emotionally traumatized when they consider ex parte protection orders. Violence of any kind is traumatic to human beings, and [...]

Specialized Domestic Violence Courts

April 25, 2014 by Ruth Reichard

Although there is no standard model of a “domestic violence court,” the term generally means a specialized court division where only domestic violence cases are filed or a specialized docket on which a trial court, which hears other types of cases, assigns domestic violence cases and hears them on a particular day or time.
In the [...]

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