Domestic violence is a global disease – but we are not powerless

Recently, I watched a policeman (and several onlookers) stand by as a man dragged a weeping, shoeless woman along the street by her hair. Central Beijing is generally very safe but not, it seems, if your assailant is your husband.

Repeated requests that a policeman help her were ignored; only after I tried to restrain the man myself, and another passerby assisted, did the officer take action. The couple were eventually driven away to the nearest police station. I have been unable to find out what happened to the woman, but it is highly likely they returned home together: victims usually drop charges. That’s not surprising since previous domestic abuse cases suggest that the police response to such cases is woefully inadequate. I’d be shocked if a British policeman simply stood by as his counterpart did in Beijing, but this is not about blaming the Chinese officer. Domestic violence is not a China problem, it is a global disease. And it is not just a matter for law enforcement, but for all of us.

Written by  Tania Branigan. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Protect 15 Million Child Domestic Workers

(New York) – Ten leading international organizations called on ministers of labor around the globe in a letter released today to protect child domestic workers and to ratify the ILO Domestic Workers Convention (Convention 189 concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers). The convention, adopted in June 2011, will help eliminate child domestic labor and improve the lives of an estimated 15 million child domestic workers.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that children make up nearly 30 percent of the world’s estimated 50 million to 100 million domestic workers. These children often work long hours for little pay, and are particularly vulnerable to trafficking, forced labor, and physical and sexual abuse. The ILO has announced that the 2013 World Day Against Child Labor, observed worldwide on June 12, will focus on child domestic labor.

Written by Human Rights Watch. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

California Spousal Support and Domestic Violence

We all know California is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. However, you may be surprised that there are certain areas of divorce and family where fault is actually a factor. A domestic violence conviction and its effect on California spousal support is one of those areas.

In a divorce case where a spouse has been convicted of an act of domestic violence against the other spouse within 5 years prior to the dissolution proceeding (typically with a petition for dissolution) being filed or any time after that, there is a “rebuttable presumption” that the convicted spouse should not receive a spousal support award.

Some of you may have said, “wow”.

Wow is right but don’t confuse the word rebuttable with “conclusive.”

Written by B. ROBERT FARZAD. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Economic Well-Being of US Children Slips

It wasn’t so long ago that David Hutchinson spent a month sleeping under a bridge while his wife and young daughter spent their nights at a domestic violence shelter.

But this wasn’t a case of domestic violence. The couple simply had no choice. There were just no shelters in Phoenix with room for another homeless family, and their top priority was finding a safe place for their daughter.

The family is one of many in the U.S. that have been trying to raise children in the face of joblessness and homelessness. An annual survey released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows the number of children living in poverty increased to 23 percent in 2011, after the recession.

The Southwest has been hit particularly hard. New Mexico, for the first time, has slipped to worst in the nation when it comes to child well-being. More than 30 percent of children in the state were living in poverty in 2011 and nearly two-fifths had parents who lacked secure employment, according to this year’s Kids Count survey.

Written by Susan Montoya Bryan. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Spouse Abuse: A Disparity of Power

In the midst of the publicity about O.J. Simpson’s arrest and arraignment for the murder of his ex-wife, I’d like to ask the reader to contemplate a different scenario. How would the public have reacted if Nicole Brown Simpson had murdered her ex-husband? After nine calls to the police for incidents of domestic violence, culminating in a beating that hospitalized her but resulted in no jail time or long-term abuse counseling for O.J., what if she had shot him to death the next time he came to her house and became angry or threatening toward her?

Consider the extreme power disparity between the antagonists in this drama. Consider the message communicated by repeated calls to the police which resulted in no effective deterrent. Consider the impact of O.J.’s statement to the police (contained in the 1989 police report) that “This is a family matter. Why do you want to make a big deal of it?”- and the despair engendered by the failure of the legal system to protect her.

Written by Cynthia Grant Bowman. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com