DVSS Proposed Legislation

The proposed legislation from from the DVSS-Advocacy Project follows:

January 2018
To Arizonans, Arizona Legislative Council, and Arizona State Legislators:
I am a resident of Tucson, Arizona. I am requesting additions and changes to Title 13 – Criminal Code.
It is necessary to make additions and changes to Title 13 Chapters 36, 38, and 40 because there are many acts of Coercive Control which contribute to continued and perpetual cycles of Domestic Violence for partners, families, and children; however Coercive Control is currently not defined, so law enforcement agencies are unable to cite perpetrators who only use coercive control strategies and techniques to control their victims. These additions and changes also fill gaps that currently exist in regards to providing for the safety and welfare of children who are victims of Domestic Violence.
I have identified the following statutes and sections of statutes which need to be added, revised and/or updated:
To protect victims and survivors of Domestic Violence who are subject to Coercive Control:
1. Title 13 Chapter 36 13.3601 Domestic violence; definition; classification; sentencing option; arrest and procedure for violation; weapon seizure (adding 13.3601.03 to existing definition)
2. Title 13 Chapter 36 13-3601.03 Coercive Control; definition; classification; sentencing option
3. Title 13 Chapter 36 13-3612. Definitions; contributing to dependency or delinquency
4. Title 13 Chapter 40 13-4431. Minimizing victim’s contacts
5. Title 13 Chapter 38 Article 30 13-4252. Recording of testimony
To ensure safety and welfare of children who are victims of Domestic Violence:
6. Title 13 Chapter 38 Article 26 13-4137. Custody pending judgment
7. Title 13 Chapter 38 Article 7 13-3882. Time of making arrest

Thank you,
Felicia
———-
Felicia Chew, Founder, Domestic Violence Support Services Project, Felicia Chew Community Projects,
“chew on ideas, chew on food, chew’s wisdom because our children are watching”
Cell: 520.909.3888
Website: http://www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com/dvss
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/feliciachewcommunityprojects
Twitter: @feliciachew19
E-mail: chewfortucson@gmail.com
Mailing Address: 917 E Pastime Road, Tucson, AZ 85719
…bringing community members together through sharing stories, that help us understand others’ perspectives, and help #EachOfUs and #AllOfUs become more engaged community members, and better informed citizens, who are able to say: “This is #OurTucson.”

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1. Chapter 36 13-3601. Domestic violence; definition; classification; sentencing option; arrest and procedure for violation; weapon seizure
A. “Domestic violence” means any act that is a dangerous crime against children as defined in section 13-705 or an offense prescribed in section 13-1102, 13-1103, 13-1104, 13-1105, 13-1201, 13-1202, 13-1203, 13-1204, 13-1302, 13-1303, 13-1304, 13-1406, 13-1425, 13-1502, 13-1503, 13-1504, 13-1602 or 13-2810, section 13-2904, subsection A, paragraph 1, 2, 3 or 6, section 13-2910, subsection A, paragraph 8 or 9, section 13-2915, subsection A, paragraph 3 or section 13-2916, 13-2921, 13-2921.01, 13-2923, 13-3019, 13-3601.02, 13-3601.03, or 13-3623, if any of the following applies…
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2. Chapter 36 13-3601.03 Coercive Control; definition classification
A. A person is guilty of coercive domestic violence if the person commits a cycle of domestic violence, using one or more of the following actions and/or strategies:
1. Emotional abuse (e.g. blaming; gaslighting; undermining the partner’s self-esteem and self-worth; shaming; making partner feel guilty; making partner think they are crazy; minimizing the impact of abuse);
2. Verbal abuse (e.g., swearing, humiliation, degradation; name-calling);
3. Social abuse (e.g., systematic social isolation; discrediting partner in front of friends and colleagues; threatening to expose partner’s HIV status, immigration status, or other private information; using popularity, class, race, or disability to manipulate partner);
4. Economic abuse (e.g., controlling all money; refusing to pay for Court fees and/or Court ordered fees);
5. Psychological abuse (e.g., threats and intimidation including threatening to leave; threatening to commit suicide; threatening to make reports to law enforcement or child welfare services; making partner do illegal things; making partner drop charges; intimidation through looks, actions, gestures; smashing things, destroying partner’s property; abusing pets or loved ones; displaying weapons; saying the abuse did not happen; blaming behavior);
6. Spiritual abuse (e.g., misusing religious or spiritual traditions to justify abuse);
7. Physical abuse (e.g., direct assaults on the body; food and sleep deprivation; controlling what partner does or where partner goes; deciding what partner wears; isolating partner from family and/or friends; pressuring partner to be a part of a group; limiting partner’s outside involvement; breaking in to partner’s social network profile, e-mail, or cell phone);
8. Sexual abuse (e.g., pressured/unwanted sex; sexual degradation; destroying or refusing to use birth control or STD protection during sex; pressuring partner to take, send, or look at sexual photos or pictures);
9. Tangential Spousal abuse (e.g. using children as messengers; making disparaging remarks about the other parent in the presence of children);
B. A person who is convicted under this section is not eligible for contact with the victim(s) until the person has served not less than 12 hours in counseling or therapy for coercive control.
C. A person who has a second conviction under this section is not eligible for contact with the victim(s) until the person has served not less than 24 hours in counseling or therapy for coercive control.
D. A person who has a third conviction under this section is not eligible for contact with the victim(s) until the person has served not less than 36 hours in counseling or therapy for coercive control.
E. A person who has four or more convictions under this section is not eligible for contact with the victim(s) until an additional 12 hours per additional conviction.
F. Coercive domestic violence is a class 3 misdemeanor.
G. For the purposes of this section, “domestic violence offense” means an offense involving domestic violence as defined in section 13-3601.
H. A “cycle of control” means a person and partner who engage in a cycle that usually goes in the following order, and will repeat until the conflict is stopped, usually by the survivor entirely abandoning the relationship or some form of intervention. The cycle can occur hundreds of times in an abusive relationship, the total cycle taking anywhere from a few hours, to a year or more to complete. However, the length of the cycle usually diminishes over time so that the “reconciliation” and “calm” stages may disappear, violence becomes more intense and the cycles become more frequent. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycle_of_abuse
1: Tension building
Stress builds from the pressures of daily life, like conflict over children, marital issues, misunderstandings, or other family conflicts. It also builds as the result of illness, legal or financial problems, unemployment, or catastrophic events, like floods, rape or war. During this period, the abuser feels ignored, threatened, annoyed or wronged. The feeling lasts on average several minutes to hours, it may last as much as several months.
To prevent violence, the victim may try to reduce the tension by becoming compliant and nurturing. Or, to get the abuse over with, prepare for the violence or lessen the degree of injury, the victim may provoke the batterer. “However, at no time is the batterer justified in engaging in violent or abusive behavior,” said Scott Allen Johnson, author of Physical Abusers and Sexual Offenders.
2: Acute violence
Characterized by outbursts of violent, abusive incidents which may be preceded by verbal abuse and include psychological abuse. During this stage the abuser attempts to dominate their partner (survivor) with the use of domestic violence.
In intimate partner violence, children are negatively affected by having witnessed the violence and the partner’s relationship degrades as well. The release of energy reduces the tension, and the abuser may feel or express that the victim “had it coming” to them.
3: Reconciliation/honeymoon
The perpetrator may begin to feel remorse, guilty feelings, or fear that their partner will leave or call the police. The victim feels pain, fear, humiliation, disrespect, confusion, and may mistakenly feel responsible.
Characterized by affection, apology, or, alternatively, ignoring the incident, this phase marks an apparent end of violence, with assurances that it will never happen again, or that the abuser will do their best to change. During this stage the abuser may feel or claim to feel overwhelming remorse and sadness. Some abusers walk away from the situation with little comment, but most will eventually shower the survivor with love and affection. The abuser may use self-harm or threats of suicide to gain sympathy and/or prevent the survivor from leaving the relationship. Abusers are frequently so convincing, and survivors so eager for the relationship to improve, that survivors (who are often worn down and confused by longstanding abuse) stay in the relationship.
4: Calm
During this phase (which is often considered an element of the honeymoon/reconciliation phase), the relationship is relatively calm and peaceable. During this period the abuser may agree to engage in counseling, ask for forgiveness, and create a normal atmosphere. In intimate partner relationships, the perpetrator may buy presents or the couple may engage in passionate sex. Over time, the batterer’s apologies and requests for forgiveness become less sincere and are generally stated to prevent separation or intervention. However, interpersonal difficulties will inevitably arise, leading again to the tension building phase. The effect of the continual cycle may include loss of love, contempt, distress, and/or physical disability. Intimate partners may separate, divorce or, at the extreme, someone may be killed.

I . “Coercive Control” means a pattern of on-going intentional domineering tactics employed by perpetrators through fear, with the intent of governing their victim’s thoughts, beliefs, or conduct and/or to punish them for resisting their regulation.
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3. Chapter 36 13-3612. Definitions; contributing to dependency or delinquency
For the purposes of sections 13-3613 through 13-3618, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. “Delinquency” means any act that tends to debase or injure, through significant, repetitive, and/or gradual repeated exposure, the morals, health or welfare of a child.
(a) “morals” includes, but is not limited to: direct and/or indirect instruction of, practicing of, and/or viewing of explicit and/or significant and/or repeated actions and/or events which are offensive and/or inappropriate (e.g. disrespecting others via name-calling, humiliation, degradation, misrepresention, belittling, the use of coercive control, minimizing, shaming and/or blaming)
(b) “health” includes, but is not limited to: physical, emotional, and mental health (e.g refusal, unwillingness, inability, delays in, and/or history of missed physical and/or mental health appointments; inappropriate use of prescription medications; smoking in the home of minors diagnosed with asthma; participating in activities, when minor is present, that do not allow for the minor child to have adequate sleep)
(c) “welfare” includes, but is not limited to: physical welfare (e.g. presence of unsecured weapons and/or medicines); emotional welfare (e.g. repeated and/or constant exposure to environments that contribute to and/or compound, the emotional health of a minor, such as, but not limited to, anxiety and/or self-esteem of the minor which may or may not result in actions such as, but not limited to: running away, cutting, self-harm, lashing out at others, and/or negative self-talk); mental welfare (e.g. using coercive control which may result in, and is not limited to the minor’s inability to focus daily and/or results in lapses in memory (e.g. of traumatic events)
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4. Chapter 40 13-4431. Minimizing victim’s contacts
Before, during and immediately after any court proceeding, the court shall provide appropriate safeguards to minimize the contact that occurs between the victim, the victim’s immediate family and the victim’s witnesses and the defendant, the defendant’s immediate family and defense witnesses.
13-4431.01. Domestic violence victim contacts – Definition
“Contact” includes, but is not limited to: physical contact, and use of coercive control as defined in 13.3601.03
13-4431.02 Domestic violence victim contacts – Court Proceedings
(a) The victim has the right to provide a written testimony.
(b) The testimony may be written or pre-recorded, per 13-4431.03
(c) If the defendant is self-represented, the defendant shall raise their concerns with the judicial officer who may choose to, or choose not to, re-direct the witness.
(d) The victim shall be advised of 13-4433
13-4431.03 Recording of testimony
A. The recording of an oral statement made before a proceeding begins is admissible into evidence if all of the following are true:
1. The recording is both visual and aural and is recorded on film or videotape or by other electronic means.
2. Every voice on the recording is identified.
3. The person conducting the interview in the recording is present at the proceeding and available to testify or be cross-examined by either party. If the recording was produced by the victim, proceedings shall occur in accordance with 13-4431.03 Section B.
5. The defendant or the attorney for the defendant is afforded an opportunity to view the recording before it is offered into evidence. The defendant shall be instructed that he/she may not discuss the recording with others.
6. The victim is available to testify to the judicial officer.
7. The recording equipment was capable of making an accurate recording, the operator of the equipment was competent and the recording is accurate and has not been altered.
B. If the electronic recording of the oral statement is admitted into evidence under this section, either party may call the victim to testify
1. Either party may respond to the testimony with questions and/or evidence to support or deny the claims made in the testimony. The victim shall not be present during this phase.
2. The Court may choose to interview the victim regarding his/her testimony. Neither party shall be present while the judicial officer, or a representative of the Court (appointed by the judicial officer) interviews the victim about his/her testimony. The interviewer shall be knowledgeable in the areas of domestic violence and coercive control.
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5. Chapter 38 Article 30 13-4252. Recording of testimony
A. The recording of an oral statement of a minor made before a proceeding begins is admissible into evidence if all of the following are true:
1. No attorney for either party was present when the statement was made; if the parties are self-represented, neither party was present.
2. The recording is both visual and aural and is recorded on film or videotape or by other electronic means.
3. Every voice on the recording is identified.
4. The person conducting the interview of the minor in the recording is present at the proceeding and available to testify or be cross-examined by either party. If the recording was produced by the minor, proceedings shall occur in accordance with 13-4252 Section B.
5. The defendant or the attorney for the defendant is afforded an opportunity to view the recording before it is offered into evidence.
6. The minor is available to testify to the judicial officer.
7. The recording equipment was capable of making an accurate recording, the operator of the equipment was competent and the recording is accurate and has not been altered.
8. The statement was not made in response to questioning calculated to lead the minor to make a particular statement.
B. If the electronic recording of the oral statement of a minor is admitted into evidence under this section, either party may call the minor to testify and the opposing party may cross-examine the minor.
1. Either party may respond to the testimony with questions and/or evidence to support or deny the claims made in the testimony. The minor shall not be present during this phase.
2. The Court may choose to interview the minor regarding his/her testimony. Neither party shall be present while the judicial officer, or a representative of the Court (appointed by the judicial officer) interviews the minor about his/her testimony. The interviewer shall be knowledgeable in the areas of domestic violence and coercive control.
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6. Chapter 38 Article 13-3882. Time of making arrest
An arrest may be made on any day and at any time of the day or night.
13.3882.01 Custody regarding minors in cases of joint parenting agreements
If minors are present in the home, and parents have an agreement of joint custody, the minors shall be temporarily placed into full custody of the joint custodial parent, and the parent in custody shall be responsible for child support and/or basic expenses (calculated based on the current child support formula, regardless if the parents are currently receiving child support) of the minors during the temporary arrangement
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7. Chapter 38 Article 26 13-4137. Custody pending judgment
Until judgment is given on the return, the court or judge may commit the party to the custody of the sheriff of the county or place him in such care, or under such custody, as his age or circumstances may require
13-4137.01 Custody regarding minors in cases of joint parenting agreements
If minors are present in the home, and parents have an agreement of joint custody, the minors shall be temporarily placed into full custody of the joint custodial parent, and the parent in custody shall be responsible for child support and/or basic expenses (calculated based on the current child support formula, regardless if the parents are currently receiving child support) of the minors during the temporary arrangement

 

 

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