Family Court Monitoring Project
- It has been estimated that at least 20% of all women in Hawai'i between the ages 18 and 64 have been victims of domestic violence.
- From 1985 through 1994, nearly 30% of all homicides in the state were the result of domestic violence. Nationwide the percentage was 15% in 1994
- Between 1989 and 1992, almost 100 women were killed by men in Hawai'i most of the killers were partners, husbands, boyfriends, or acquaintances.
- Firearms were the most common weapon used to kill another person in domestic violence related incidents.
Criminal Justice Approach
- The Hawaii State Legislature passed our first spouse abuse law in 1972, Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 709-906, "Abuse of Family and Household Members."
- All police jurisdictions in Hawai'i operate under a policy of mandatory arrest when there is probable cause to believe a household member has been abused.
- In 1986 there were only 300 domestic abuse arrests in the state but by 1995 that number had increased to 4,665.
- Studies show that only a small percentage of abuse situations are reported to police; by the time an arrest is made, abuse is likely to have been going on for years.
- The Court Monitoring Project data suggest that our community does not understand the rationale behind HRS Section 709-906.
- Convicted batterers generally serve little jail time, regardless of the seriousness of their acts.
- There appear to be few serious consequences for batterers who fail to comply with the terms of probation or with their sentences.