Domestic violence occurs in all cultures and touches people of all races, ethnicity, and religions. It is a serious, preventable public health crisis affecting more than 32 million Americans. Domestic violence has many forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation and economic deprivation. Women are far more likely than men to be victims of domestic violence and, even worse, nearly 3 out of 4 of the murders committed by intimate partners have a female victim. The FBI reports that between 1976 and 1996, domestic violence claimed the lives of more than four women each day.
Many women fail to report their abusive partners due to the shame and fear associated with domestic violence. However, even with this dramatic under-reporting, domestic violence calls constitute approximately half of all violent crime calls to police departments. In Washington DC, 49% of the violent crime calls received by the police department in 2000 were for domestic violence incidents. Unfortunately, data indicates that even those who seek help from police may not be aware of how to secure a restraining order or how to find the resources to help themselves and their families.
At CWLC, we are creating innovative programs to help bring awareness, justice and expanded services to victims of domestic violence.
Murder at Home Project
Murder at Home is a groundbreaking effort to transform criminal justice, community and media responses to intimate murder and intimate violence to ensure that these crimes are taken seriously and addressed appropriately. In October 2005, CWLC released the first volume of its policy report Murder at Home: An Examination of Legal and Community Responses to Intimate Femicide in California.
Read more about the Murder at Home Project.
Teen Dating Violence
Domestic violence is not only found in adult relationships. Teenagers in dating relationships often experience abusive and controlling behavior at the hands of their boyfriend or girlfriend. These early experiences of abuse in intimate relationships can have devastating affects and can be a precursor for violence in adult intimate relationships.
CWLC’s S.T.O.P. (School Training, Outreach and Prevention) Teen Dating Violence Project is a statewide, public policy and education initiative to protect the health and safety of teens by ensuring that schools institute comprehensive policies, protocols, training and resources that enable their employees to effectively prevent and respond to complaints of teen dating and sexual violence against students.
Read more about CWLC’s work relating to Teen Dating Violence.
Under state law, a limited number of battered women who are in prison for certain violent felonies, including murder of their abuser, may submit a petition for habeas corpus if they were prejudiced by the fact that expert testimony on battering and its effects was not presented during their original trial. CWLC works in collaboration with the USC Law School Post-Conviction Justice Project, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, and Free Battered Women to secure pro bono representation for incarcerated battered women who qualify for habeas relief under state law.
To learn more, visit the Habeas Project Website.
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- Gender Discrimination
- Reproductive Health
- Women’s Health