End cycle of family violence

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A new year, a new tragedy.

While we don’t know all the details yet, the facts are that the husband working at FPL Food shot and killed his wife and then himself. The husband had been arrested for family violence in the past, along with other criminal acts.

Seventy-four women and four men were killed in Georgia in 2010 – victims of “domestic violence incidents.” Even the phrase we use to describe these brutal murders sanitizes the ragged, bleeding edges of what is an epidemic in Georgia. Sixty-six children were present in these incidents. Three of them were killed. Friends, other family members, co-workers and new partners also were witnesses, and sometimes victims in these cases.

While protective orders will not stop every batterer, studies show that violence is completely stopped in 50 percent of the cases and substantially reduced in 25 percent of the remaining cases in which the victim gets a protective order. At Georgia Legal Services, our lawyers work with hundreds of survivors every year trying to help them get out of these dangerous, often life-threatening situations. We counsel them about safety planning and about getting protective orders to put a legal barrier between them and their batterers.

To make these orders effective, all citizens must speak loudly and make it known that family violence will not be tolerated. Family violence is a crime and must be treated as a crime. Batterers continue to make excuses, blame the victims and take up money from law enforcement, the court system and medical facilities that so many others need.

No one can remain silent about family violence or look the other way. Silence or indifference kills. All of us must be committed to ending this epidemic of family violence.

Kenneth Jones


(The writer is the managing attorney for the Augusta Regional Office of the Georgia Legal Services Program.)

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Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 01/10/12 - 03:49 am
"Family violence" or

"Family violence" or "domestic violence?" It's been my experience that much violence within a residence doesn't involve husbands and wives but involves "****-boys and their ****-girls.

allhans 01/10/12 - 02:34 pm
So many women are slapped

So many women are slapped arouind by their spouses and never report it. I personally know of one who tried to leave an abusive husband and he told her he had "clout" and could and would take the kids. In today's political climate he probably could have. I don't know the answer but reporting abuse is not as easy as it sounds.

Family Law Advocates Initiating Reform
Ken can you cite the "studies

Ken can you cite the "studies show that violence is completely stopped in 50 percent of the cases and substantially reduced in 25 percent of the remaining cases in which the victim gets a protective order"? According to the National Institute of Justice "research has not been able to answer the question definitively" (June 2009). According to Carol Jordon, Dir. UKY Center for Research on Violence Against Women; "Cases where the violence has been severe and persistent, and cases where the offender was very resistant to having the court enter the order are more likely to involve later violation of the order. The presence of children has also been identified as being positively related to revictimization" (uky.edu/CRVAW) I think that you should also add a disclaimer that GA Legal Services receives money from the Office of Violence Against Women to represent women who are alleging domestic violence.

vkimbrell 01/11/12 - 12:26 pm

Civil protective orders provide an effective deterrent to intimate-partner violence without increasing costs to society, according to study findings recently released by University of Kentucky researchers.
The study, funded by the National Institute of Justice, is the most comprehensive evaluation of protective orders in the nation. Led by TK Logan, UK professor of Behavioral Science. . . the study examined partner violence in rural and urban settings 6 months before a protective order was obtained and at 3 months and 6 months afterward. More than 200 victims were included in the study, with a follow-up rate of 99 percent. Logan's findings greatly expand upon previous research demonstrating the effectiveness of civil protective orders. Most importantly, Logan found that protective orders, effectively enforced, can save lives in a cost-effective way. In fact, the study found that when victims' quality of life is considered, there are substantial savings both to victims and society. Specifically, the research team, which included economist William Hoyt, director of UK's Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, found that protective orders saved the state an estimated $85 million dollars in a one-year period when victim quality of life was considered.

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