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September 1998

October 1998

Marion Saunders 1908-1998 (Mary Anne Raywid)
Domestic Violence Concurrence Meeting (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Candidates' Forum
Orientation Meeting for New Members (Grace Furukawa)
Hawaiian Annexation Anniversary Special
Better Government Volunteer Announcement
Membership

Domestic Violence Concurrence Meeting

It was "standing room only" at the "Report, Domestic Violence, Victim Safety in Hawaii" concurrence meeting held at the League office on August 19. Each participant had the opportunity to voice concerns, questions, suggestions, etc. Leaguers' written concerns were shared and a sub-committee was formed to make clarifications where necessary. Following review by the editorial board the report will be added to our Web site and distributed as requested.

This committee also met and drafted a statewide domestic violence position that was accepted at the Hawaii State board meeting on Saturday, August 29 and states the following:

Domestic violence is a crime against the community, not a private domestic squabble. It requires a comprehensive coordinated intervention system in which public and private agencies including the police, probation officers, the courts, health care providers, victim advocates, and batterers treatment providers hold the offender accountable and offer support and protection to his victims.

Hawaii needs a coordinated community response to address the issue of domestic abuse. If the police arrest offenders who are not or cannot be held accountable for their actions, women are endangered by the arrest. If women take the courageous and dangerous step of fleeing from abuse and no shelter is available they are further endangered

League supports a coordinated community response in which the public and private agencies work together for these common goals:

  • to identify and respond immediately to every victim in the family with sensitive and skilled assistance provided by trained professional or lay advocates *to protect and empower women so that they in turn can protect their children

  • to make it safe for women and children to seek help with services designed to prevent further abuse *to provide adequate funding for victim services

  • to stop further harm by holding offenders, responsible and accountable for their actions

  • to ensure that every agency in the community adheres to these standards and works cooperatively to achieve them

League does not suggest that there is only one model for a coordinated community response in Hawaii. In our community three things could be done immediately:

  1. Re-establish and reaffirm the Ad-Hoc Committee for Domestic and Sexual Violence.

  2. Revise the priorities to place victim safety and early intervention in the domestic violence cycle first

  3. Create a process whereby the knowledge and experience of advocates and victims can be used to improve services for victims

(Ending Violence Against Women & Children in Massachusetts Families: Critical Steps for the Next Five Years, published by the Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women Services Groups, Nov. 1996, was used for reference in developing our common goals)

Suzanne Meisenzahl
Violence Prevention

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