WEA Article 6 – Ending the irony of arrests of Domestic Violence victims

From New York Women’s Equality at:  http://nywomensequality.org/10-point-plan/

6. Ensuring that Victims of Domestic Violence are not punished for “violating” their own Order of Protection (Senate Bill 5877)

• An order of protection is a court order directed to the offending party (the respondent) and prohibiting the respondent from contacting the protected party. New York has seen an increasing number of arrests of protected parties when a respondent violates an order of protection, or when a protected party appropriately contacts a respondent.

The Women’s Equality Act would:

Ensure in law that protected parties cannot be held to violate an order of protection put in place to protect them

I am one of the lucky ones, I will admit that.  I have never been a victim of domestic violence.  And I don’t understand the huge psychological toll it takes on the victims.  Therefore I don’t understand why they do the things they do in reaction to their abuser.  But I do know that those who abuse do so by manipulation of power and that they can be skillful in how they wield that power.

So many are quick to judge the victims – to blame them for the actions that they take, and rush to judge without a full understanding of the facts.  Shaming and punishing the victim does not stop the cycle of abuse or the impact it has on victims, families and society.  This Article stops one avenue of legal punishment for the victim.  From what I have been told my those in the Domestic Violence prevention field, this is an important piece of legislation to breaking the cycle of violence.