President's Message (Astrid Monson)|
Annual Program Planning Meeting
Domestic Violence Forum
Position Paper on Con Con '98
Domestic Violence Forum
Nearly 100 people attended our presentation surrounding the report of the Family Court Monitoring Project at the Honolulu General Membership meeting on Saturday, September 14th.
The project, a joint effort of the Honolulu League and the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, generated a week of intense media coverage and discussion around domestic violence issues in our community.
It has also prompted commitments by both the Office of the Prosecutor and the Judiciary to participate in future discussions about improving the response to domestic violence cases in the legal system.
The week culminated in the presentation, which included a candidates' panel discussion that drew all three office seekers: Peter Carlisle, David Arakawa, and Randal Yoshida. Members of the diverse audience provided a full range of questions relating to prosecution of batterer's and victim services.
The candidates all made strong commitments to enhancing victim witness services, ensuring experienced prosecution of domestic violence cases, and charging violators to the full extent of the law. Peter Carlisle and Randal Yoshida also acknowledged the risk to victims and the severe challenges they face in dealing with the legal system. They each vowed to provide a system response more conducive to victim participation and safety.
Our featured keynote speaker was Alana Bowman, Special Assistant to the Los Angels City Attorney for domestic violence issues. Bowman, who has worked in the field since 1971, is currently serving on the National Advisory Council for implementation of the Violence Against Women Act, a federal effort spearheaded by U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno.
She is a national advisor on policies and legislation that increase protections for battered women and a board member of the California Alliance Against Domestic Violence, California League of Women Prosecutors, and the Southern California Coalition for Battered Women.
Bowman stressed the importance of not blaming victims for domestic violence. She emphasized the dangers they face in leaving abusers and in participating as witnesses during prosecution. She noted that her office, working closely with police and the judiciary, seeks every possible means to prosecute cases without victim participation.
Bowman wrapped up her talk with a list of key legislative policy efforts undertaken in California to more effectively address violence against women issues in that state. She noted that some of these have become model legislation that is being implemented in other states.
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