Advocacy and work on changing domestic violence statutes to shore up loopholes, and update outdated policies and procedures.
Domestic Violence Support Services works on policy changes to shore up loopholes, and to provide programs that will alter the current cycle of repeat offenders, victims, and survivors.
Current policies do not consider coercive control to be a crime. However, coercive control plays an important part of domestic abuse, as perpetrators use many of the methods on the Wheel of Power and Control to traumatize their partner and/or parents and/or children. While elder abuse and child abuse laws (crimes against vulnerable persons) exist, many victims of domestic violence are the intimate partners, who are not considered to be vulnerable persons. This is why it is important to add crimes of coercive control into the statutes.
In addition to adding statutes on coercive control, it is necessary to add policies and processes for working with victims, perpetrators, and families and friends of victims and perpetrators who provide support to victims and perpetrators through self-awareness training programs domestic violence training programs and mediation.
Finally, it is important to maintain the integrity of the Court process and reduce incorrect testimony by interviewing victims separately from the accused perpetrators, and stopping the currently legal practice of alleged perpetrators interviewing and/or cross-examining victims. It is important for the accused to be able to defend themselves by asking questions to determine the character and validity of the crimes they are accused of; however, in instances of actual abuse, the victim is re-traumatized, and will rescind previous claims that were made while the victim was in a safe space. The fear of returning to an angry partner, while away from the protection of law enforcement agencies is great. This is why it is important to have separation, intervention, and mediation between the parties.
DVSS Advocacy Activities
- Conversation with Senator Steele re. Legislation for 2020
- Conversation with Pima County Attorney’s Office – Victim Services Director re. Current services in Pima County
- Hosted DOC Daniel Torrez re. Victim-Offender Dialogue Information Session
- Conversation with Emerge! re. Offender Services in Pima County.
- Meeting with Sande Levitz re. Pie, Felicia (Safe Space Project)
- Emailed Contact Person of Committee on the Impact of DV and the Courts
- List of Individuals Involved in the Conversation;
- Policy work, resources, and information on Coercive Control in the UK, and Domestic Violence Policies and Resources in the States;
- Discussion on Kentucky statutes
- Meetings and Communications with Emerge!, PCAO, victims and survivors of domestic abuse, State Legislators, TPD;
- Revisions of bill;
- On-air discussion on Steve Le”‘All’ Things Political”;
- On-air discussion on Wake Up Tucson
- Meetings and Communications with Arizona State Legislator, Tucson Police Department, Tucson City Court, SADVC Coalition, Arizona State Legislative Council;
- Creating webpage to share information about the bill;
- Drafting and Revising bill
- Meetings and Communications with Arizona State Legislator, Tucson Police Department, Pima County Attorney’s Office
- Meetings and Communications with Tucson Police Department