Blogging the Amendment

Offering a Forum to Discuss the Pros and Cons of the Marshall/Newman Amendment

Women’s Shelter Concerned about the Amendment

The Loudoun County version of the Times Community newspaper had this report on June 22nd about a women's shelter's concern over the impact of the Marshall/Newman amendment on domestic violence victims.

Here's a story the shelter (SAFE) used to illustrate why it's not OKAY just to have assault laws cover domestic assaults involving unmarried couples:

She escaped to the Sheriff's department, where officers referred her to SAFE – Services to Abused Families. By then she was in bad shape.

"There wasn't an inch of her body that wasn't bruised," said SAFE justice service advocate April Baumgardner.

Workers quickly took the victim to the hospital and filed for an EPO – Emergency Protective Order. The police in turn filed an All Points Bulletin on the boyfriend.

Because of a proposed state constitutional amendment, that scenario could change. There would be no emergency protection. Nor would there be an APB for the boyfriend. The incident would not be treated anymore seriously than a parking lot scuffle.

A proposed marriage amendment, which goes before voters on Nov. 7th, would ban same-sex marriage and partnerships such as civil unions that resemble marriage.

SAFE worries the language of the amendment could affect how it responds to domestic violence cases with unmarried couples.

"We wouldn't have been able to get the EPO," Ms. Baumgarder said. Too, the boyfriend would be charged with a misdemeanor instead of the current felony.

One other thing…. without the protective order, there's no way to keep domestic violence perpertrators from bringing the fight into the workplace … and the #1 cause of death of women in the workplace?  Murder.

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June 24, 2006 - Posted by | domestic violence, GLBT couples, straight couples

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