In The News

Feb 28, 2011

NATIONAL – Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline, a project of the National Council on Family Violence, are joining forces to create a new and improved to engage, educate and empower teens and young adults to prevent and end abusive relationships. Break the Cycle has more than 15 years of experience with providing training, education, online resources, advocacy and activism and the National Dating Abuse Helpline provides the only peer-to-peer online chat in the country where trained advocates can give advice to teens and young adults. “This revolutionary partnership will establish as the ultimate source of help and information for teens and young adults,” said Break the Cycle Executive Director Marjorie Gilberg. The revamped site is expected to launch this summer.

CA – Chris Brown completed his year-long domestic violence counseling program late last year. Brown was required by Los Angeles Superior Court to attend the sessions as part of his plea agreement for assaulting his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, in 2009. Brown tweeted a picture of his certificate for completing the class online and said via Twitter, “I have enough self-respect and decency to be proud of completing this DV class…Boyz run from [their] mistakes…Men learn from them!!! thx,” the Los Angeles Times reports. Brown is serving five years of probation.

MO – State Attorney General Chris Koster announced a series of recommendations to improve domestic violence laws and court practices in the state. They include a constant definition of domestic violence, harsher penalties for those who violate protection orders, and ways that law enforcement officials, courts and victim advocates should treat victims. Koster created an expert task force in September to analyze the state’s domestic violence laws, after making a campaign promise to Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence Executive Director Colleen Coble, the Springfield News-Leader reports. Senator John Lamping (R-Ladue) pledged to sponsor legislation backing the changes. Read the task force’s full recommendations here.

NV – The Humane Society of the United States and the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence (NNADV) are sponsoring a statewide ‘pet foster care network’ so that domestic violence victims and their pets can leave dangerous situations. “Concerns about pets and how to protect them from violence too, are one of many factors that confront women thinking about leaving,” said NNADV Executive Director Sue Meuschke. On a national level, groups are developing a directory that will list contact information and background for every safe haven for pets program in the United States.

NY – Earlier this month, a jury found Muzzammil Hassan guilty of killing, Aasiya Hassan, his wife. Hassan stabbed her more than 40 times in the face, back and chest and decapitated her inside the television studio the couple had opened to counter negative stereotypes of Muslims after the September 11 attacks. Hassan claimed during the trial that his wife abused him and he was afraid of her. “We hope the public realizes that this case is not exclusively a cultural issue or a problem within a specific community,” wrote Remla Parthasarathy with the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence in a February 12 op-ed in the Buffalo News “Because of the ethnic origin of the defendant and victim, it would be easy to mistakenly dismiss this case as a ‘cultural concern.’ The reality is this is a domestic violence case, and the defendant manipulated his cultural norms to maintain his power and control over his spouse, as abusers in every culture do.”

AFGHANISTAN – The government is considering a proposal to take over operations of the country’s women’s shelters. The advocacy group Human Rights Watch warns that doing so would result in some shelters closing, restrictions on women’s freedom of movement, compulsory forensic exams, a likely reduction in protection for shelter residents, and the possible expulsion of women who still need help. “The new rules speak to the suspicions that women’s shelters still generate in this deeply conservative society, where the shelters have come to symbolize the competition between modern values and traditional Afghan ways,” the New York Times reports. The government sent a letter to shelters in January ordering them to transfer control within 45 days, but the Council of Ministers must approve the draft legislation first, which has not yet happened.

CANADA – The Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada is presenting a full-length ballet to educate audiences about the dangers associated with domestic violence. New Brunswick Silent Witness Committee asked choreographer Igor Dobrovolskiy to create the ballet. A silent witness exhibit of 21 life-size, red silhouettes of women representing New Brunswick women who were murdered by husbands, boyfriends or other partners will accompany the ballet as it travels across the country. The Ghosts of Violence debuted on February 15 and will tour through every Canadian province.