NEW ORLEANS, May 5, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Resources For Peace advocates for increased education of family courts, and other legal professionals, in an effort to teach them to recognize the patterns of abusive litigation and to protect the needs of domestic violence survivors. Survivors need to believe that they can report domestic violence and seek police protection without the fear of legal repercussions that may cost victims time, money and peace of mind.
"Protection orders are a critical component in enhancing the overall safety of domestic violence survivors," said Julia England, Co-Founder of Resources for Peace. "However, protection orders can only be effective if the enforcement of those orders result in tangible consequences for batterers." The Louisiana code does recognize these facts: "Violence often escalates, and child custody and visitation become the new forum for the continuation of the abuse. Because current laws relative to child custody and visitation are based on an assumption that even divorcing parents are in relatively equal positions of power, and that such parents act in the children's best interest, these laws often work against the protection of the children and the abused spouse in families with a history of family violence. Consequently, laws designed to act in the children's best interest may actually effect a contrary result due to the unique dynamics of family violence." La. R.S. 9:361.
There are gaps in laws protecting victims. For example, one victim of domestic abuse, stated: "The man who has financially, emotionally and physically abused me and my daughters for the past seven years continues to abuse me and the children through retaliatory litigation and inadequately supervised court ordered visits, which have provided him with continued opportunities to hurt the children."
New bills are important to stopping the escalation of abuse. House Bill 722 by Rep. Robert Billiot of Westwego, includes 'non-physical acts' in the definition of domestic abuse, and requires past history of abuse to be used in considering a temporary restraining order. "Passing of bills such as House Bill 722 is an important milestone toward ensuring further safety for domestic abuse victims in Louisiana," said Jonathan Dalrymple, Co-Founder of Resources For Peace. "But we need to continue to encourage the state to work harder and do even more to protect these victims. Victims rely on the court for protection and it fails them by allowing survivors to be victimized again."
Resources For Peace is an organized effort advocating for effective laws that will give abuse victims a voice and enable them to safely begin the process of healing. Learn more at www.resourcesforpeace.org.
SOURCE Resources For Peace