domestic violence

In Indiana, 42 percent of women say they have experienced some form of violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.  New data captures some of the challenges of prosecuting domestic violence cases.

The report from the Domestic Violence Network focuses on cases filed in Marion County. Executive director Kelly McBride says the data assessment is valuable.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

The YWCA of Greater Lafayette unveiled its new advocacy center Tuesday, where the organization hopes to offer better-quality services.

The center – which used to be the agency’s shelter building – will house classes, support groups and meetings.

Executive director Debi DeBruyn says the center will tie all of the Y’s domestic violence services together – unlike when they were all housed in the group’s shelter building.

When the Republican healthcare plan was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week, an amendment that could impact people with pre-existing conditions drew strong reactions. Advocacy groups for domestic violence survivors were among the first to speak up.

Training services manager with the Domestic Violence Network, Mary Margret Sweeny says she is concerned about some of the language in the American Health Care Act.

Court Protectee Gun Bill Passes Legislature

Apr 24, 2017

A controversial piece of gun legislation is heading to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk after it passed through the legislature.

It allows people protected by restraining orders to carry handguns without a license for up to 60 days.

It passed easily in the House, 74 to 26, and in the Senate, 38 to 12. But those opposed argued it would escalate domestic violence situations.

Hoosiers are already allowed to keep firearms at home without a license. Senate sponsor Mark Messmer (D-Princeton) says the bill keeps victims safe outside the home.

In both Governor Eric Holcomb’s proposed budget and the version approved by the House Republican caucus, funding for domestic violence prevention and treatment programs remains unchanged from the previous state budget.

Scott Davidson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/webhostingreview/

The Lafayette Police Department is working more closely with victims’ advocates to help connect people affected by domestic abuse with support and legal options. Historically, the advocate is summoned by a police officer, but recently, the department has been trying a new approach.

Norah Ashcraft, a YWCA employee who works with domestic violence victims, has had an office inside the Lafayette Police Department since 2015, helping people file protective orders against abusers and giving them information on topics such as counseling and transitional housing.

New legislation awaiting the governor’s signature extends more privacy rights to sexual assault and domestic abuse victims on college campuses. Previously, a legal loophole that didn’t protect personal information given to victims’ advocates left some victims vulnerable.

Current law provides what’s called “testimonial privilege” to sexual assault and domestic violence victim advocates, such as people who work at rape crisis centers.  Democratic Representative Christina Hale says that means an advocate can’t be compelled to reveal a victim’s personal details in court.

Criminal Justice Institute Grants To Quintuple In 2015

Jun 22, 2015
Indiana Criminal Justice Institute

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute is giving out five times more funding this year than it did last year.     

The federal government gave the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute $40 million this year -- up from $8 million in 2014.

Criminal justice Institute Spokesman Adam Baker says the institute plans to hand out that money in the form of grants to local organizations around the state.

“A grant like this, let alone an increase of such monumental proportion allows us to even better our relation with our service providers,” Baker says.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Attorney General Greg Zoeller is launching a new division within his office aimed at boosting services for victims of violent and sexual crimes. 

Indiana’s hundreds of victim advocates currently operate separately across the state in shelters, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors’ offices and hospitals. 

The Attorney General’s new Victim Services and Outreach Division will launch the Victim Advocates’ Network to coordinate information and training.  Zoeller says the network will link up various advocacy efforts.

City of Frankfort

The City of Frankfort has recently made some changes to streamline the way its municipal court handles cases. The goal is to handle more of them and generate more revenue.

But on the heels of an investigation into the Ferguson, Missouri legal system showing widespread problems from doing similar things, might there be unintended consequences?

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