Originally created 04/22/01

Bad news for abusers



A Domestic Violence Task Force program came through in sterling fashion for National Crime Victims' Week.

The 100-member, all-volunteer group affiliated with the Augusta Judicial Circuit presented area law-enforcement agencies with crime-scene cameras purchased from fines paid by successfully prosecuted domestic violence offenders.

The cameras will be invaluable in documenting and, hopefully, deterring incidents of domestic abuse. As Richmond County Solicitor General Sheryl Jolly points out, photo documentation builds stronger cases against abusers.

It freezes in time the crime scene that police see when they first respond to a domestic violence incident. What jurors or judges see with their own eyes is so much more telling and dramatic than having it described to them by a prosecutor.

Photo evidence also helps win convictions even when the victim doesn't want to press charges.

The presentation of 50 cameras to law-enforcers from Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties also highlighted the fact that domestic violence is no longer regarded as just a family tiff. It is a crime no less serious than an assault on a stranger. We commend the work of the task force.