9, November 2017

Next Actions: Local Groups Aim to Safeguard Domestic Abuse Victims

Martinsville-How can we safeguard victims of domestic violence? After a current city center conversation on the topic, numerous local groups are taking actions to make modifications, both to fine-tune procedures and get help from the faith neighborhood.

The Southside Survivor Response Center Inc. held a panel conversation called “Community Conversations” on Oct. 5 at New College Institute’s building at 191 Fayette Street in Martinsville.

Warren Rodgers Jr., executive director of SSR Center, stated that after the meeting, group members met the Domestic Violence Intervention Partnership, to look at any possible modifications they might make.

” I’m favorable we will talk through procedures as a group and modify procedures, but when it comes to our company, there will be more targeted outreach into the faith neighborhood as we are able,” Rodgers stated. “We have actually aimed to reach this neighborhood before, but we now will establish a much better method for outreach to church groups. The precise technique is not specified yet.”.

DVIP has regular monthly conferences that consist of police and representation from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s workplace, Victim/Witness workplace, Department of Social Services, Piedmont Community Services, Probation & Parole, the 911 Center, and other involved companies.

” Each month we go over cases of domestic violence in our neighborhood within the criteria of each company’s policies on privacy, and look for (to) guarantee our firms support survivors, and hold culprits responsible,” Rodgers stated.

SSR Center offers a private emergency shelter 24 hour a day, 7 days a week for people wishing to leave harmful scenarios. The group is also part of a network of programs throughout the commonwealth that supply security services to victims of domestic violence.

Southside Survivor Response Center uses telephone crisis intervention. SSR Center also has a group of supporters to deal with members of the neighborhood who need help, but might not need to gain access to shelter services.

Agents of SSR Center, Martinsville Police Department, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the Martinsville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the 21st Judicial District magistrate’s workplace, Bassett Family Practice and Community Recovery Program participated in the current panel conversation.

The panelists explained the numerous services they or their firms offer to domestic violence victims and the level to which they can work together with other companies (if domestic violence victims allow).

Amongst the obstacles panelists pointed out are domestic violence victims hesitating to push charges or follow through when charges are submitted. Law enforcement officials stated they are needed to submit charges if they can figure out the primary assailant, which they might or might not have the ability to do. Magistrates are needed to submit charges if there is possible cause the criminal offense has been devoted and the victim is reliable.

Victims might hesitate to submit or follow through on charges because they love their intimate partner; they have kids with their partner; they depend upon their partner for financial backing; they fear for their or their kids’ security; they fear to litigate; they matured in a home where there was domestic violence became part of life.

Some domestic violence victims will not provide one assisting firm authorization to share secret information with another assisting company to obtain the victim more help.

When a domestic violence case litigates, a victim might aim to recant.

Some panelists mentioned the need for more neighborhood education on domestic violence and healthy relationships, continued training for police, the need for training for faith leaders to assist handle domestic violence.

Some members of the panel stated they feel a protective order is simply a notepad, but others stated they feel protective orders help avoid even more violence to victims. All appeared to concur that a protective order is “not a bullet-proof vest,” as some panelists put it if an accused is figured out to hurt or eliminate a domestic violence victim.

The occasion was arranged after the murder of Kathy Likens. The 53-year-old Martinsville citizen was eliminated the night of July 12.

After performing a ground search, Martinsville authorities found her body July 13 in a woody area in between Ellsworth Street and Cleveland Avenue in Martinsville about 4:25 p.m. that exact same day.

On July 15, 52-year-old Martinsville local Robert Wayne Reynolds was apprehended on a charge of first-degree murder of Likens.

According to files in Martinsville General District Court and Martinsville Circuit Court, Likens asked for and got a protective order July 11 versus Reynolds. In the criminal grievance, Likens declared that Reynolds, who she had actually formerly dated, informed her he would eliminate her, that he was going to use a hammer when he did it which she feared for her security after being verbally assaulted by him at her job.

On July 14, the medical inspector’s workplace stated that the reason for Likens’ death was blunt force injury to the head.

Delegate Les Adams was the only one of this area’s state lawmakers who went to the panel conversation.

” I found it helpful to hear the actions to each question from the numerous point of views represented on the panel and how they explained the application of state policies relative to their specific service,” Adams informed the Bulletin. “It highlighted the useful impact from efforts made over the years in Richmond to resolve the special character of domestic violence, such as the use of the statewide and local telephone hotlines, the address privacy program, protective order treatments, anticipations versus admission to bail, and the police required to jail the primary assailant. In 2018, I prepare for supporting legislation just like this year’s HB 1852 that would permit people the chance for boosted personal security.”.

According to Virginia’s Legislative Information System, HB 1852 (similar to SB1299), which was gone by the General Assembly this year but banned by Gov. Terry McAuliffe: “Authorizes anyone 21 years of age or older who is not restricted from buying, having, or transferring a gun and is safeguarded by an unexpired protective order to bring a hidden pistol for 45 days after the protective order was released. The costs supply that if the person provided the protective order looks for a hidden pistol license throughout such 45-day duration, such person will be licensed to bring a hidden pistol for an extra 45 days and be offered a copy of the qualified applicants, which will work as a de facto hidden pistol authorization. The costs need such person to have the order or licensed application and image recognition on his person when bringing a hidden pistol and to show them upon need by a law-enforcement officer; failure to do so is punishable by a $25 civil charge.”.

In his written veto of the expense, Gov. McAuliffe stated that he was worried weapons would be provided without the correct training to use them, if the costs had ended up being law. He included, “The costs perpetuates the harmful fiction that the victims of domestic violence will be much safer by equipping themselves. It would inject guns into an unpredictable domestic violence circumstance, making that scenario less safe, not more.”.