Submission

Team

Systemic issues with law enforcement and other agencies making Domestic Violence training a Priority for women's right to stay safe from abuse and actually holding the criminals accountable.
Title

Systemic issues with law enforcement and other agencies making Domestic Violence training a Priority for women's right to stay safe from abuse and actually holding the criminals accountable.

Summary

We need to provide victims of violence with more tools to help themselves when the system fails them. Higher standard of care and prevention by prioritizing  training and transparency of mandatory services that Law Enforcement, Hospitals, and other agencies are supposed to provide victims and that if they are not the are entitled to file a complaint. If more people of authority start being held accountable for depriving victims of services by not informing them, there will be change once they are held personally or professionally responsible.

Team Information
Above the violence
Category
Other
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About the Problem

Problem Category

Other

Problem Context

I have been a victim of Domestic Violence more than I would like to admit and even when I couldn't fight back and sought help from law enforcement many of the young inexperienced male officers had no idea or training of how to handle the situation and were completely insensitive to my needs and had uncontrolled bias which I had to go a step above to file a formal complaint and as a victim I had already been through enough. Even Domestic Violence organizations such as Haven and the Domestic Violence Hotline turned me away because they only accepted Intimate Partner Violence (not violence between family members or where no sex/incest was involved),who would believe they discriminate between Criminal-Law D.V. and Family-Law D.V. and yet they receive funding and praise when they turn some innocent victims away. Haven had me wait an entire week before assisting me with a Restraining Order... by that time it's too late and my abuser found me again. There should be a place that victims can safely go to 24/7 maybe a shelter like Haven, but bigger and they have mandatory professional staff for reports/photos to be taken help with R.O. and immediate therapy for the trauma they just endured. The key to ending all violence is "prevention" and holding those who are responsible accountable not waiting until a victim is nearly beaten to death before help is offered instead of begged for. They're are no advocates to help women when shelters are full and police won't issue emergency Restraining Orders because they would rather you do it yourself and you shouldn't have to go to the E.R. first to be transferred to a mental health after experiencing sexual assault that makes you contemplate suicide. Where is the mandatory reports or photos police and hospitals should take? Where are the trained Mental Health specialist within M.P.D. and hospitals to see when a victim has more than physical trauma, but psychological too! Nobody seems to care until it's too late and when the victim has experienced so much trauma that it's become debilitating and that is the unfortunate truth that should be brought to light and end. All Domestic Violence should be treated equal and allow access to help to those who are victims of both Criminal-Law D.V. & Family-Law D.V. this is especially true for the women of are society who should be treated with worth and respect and not like a burden just because they are brave enough to complain. I believe there should be transparent education materials available to any victim distributed by Law Enforcement and Hospitals of how they are supposed to be treated, what they should be asked regarding the Domestic Violence, how to secretly report or call 911 when a victim can't safely get out of abusers sight to do so, to be told what their rights are and to what services (like I have the right to demand a rape kit after being raped) not wait until someone deligent enough comes along to offer. We need a higher standard of care and prevention from those with the authority to do so, transparency to what victims have a right to so that they can provide for themselves when Law Enforcement and Hospitals fail to do their jobs it's at the victims expense and enables criminals to continue committing crimes because they don't get held accountable and should face stricter punishments. I hope I have provided some insight on what our society is lacking and hope that someday victims can rely on the help of others, but until then they desperately need the tools to help save themselves. Citizens of Modesto need this problem solved and not a new stadium

How did you identify this problem?

By personal experience.

Problem Details

Who are those affected by this problem?

Mostly women who maybe either mentally or physically disabled, homeless, or under educated and have very few friends or family and become victims to Domestic Violence whether Criminal or Family Law definition. The abuser usually faces minimal consequences at the victims expense because nobody in Law Enforcement or Hospitals like dealing with D.V. it's treated like the plague avoided at all costs with minimal effort.

How often does this problem occur?

More often than you would feel comfortable knowing.

How long has the problem been going on?

For me personal years and for others in and out of homeless shelters probably decades.

Is the problem disrupting the community? How?

Yes, deeply I am a mother and yet can't find myself able to contribute to my son's school or the society for fear that my abuser would somehow interfere and cause me harm. Victims can't function normally when their abusers go free around town with hardly any consequences so it just enables and encourages them to find another victim and then another and another.

Is the issue perceived as a problem by the community at large?

Only those who have been I time see to understand everyone else just turns a blind eye, but yes it's a very large issues that contributes to why some victims turn to prostitution hoping it'll provide a financial escape, but it does not.

Is the problem limited to certain geographic areas?

All of Modesto.

Who are the Stakeholders, those wanting this problem to be fixed?

The victims want the systemic issues with the local Law Enforcement, Hospitals and public programs like Haven fixed to actually help all victims of all types of D.V. and not just run them around in circles because they want they funding from the government but not to actually help them through this long process of healing and fighting for justice.

Addressing the Problem

Are you aware of any solutions, approaches, or efforts to tackle this problem?

I believe we should make a transparency program letting victims know how step-by-step Law Enforcement/Hospitals should handle the entire situation taking no biased statements, taking photos of injury, refer AND take you to shelter or mental facility to receive proper therapy. 24/7 Therapy should become mandatory for any victim of violence since most Police do not have formal training in psychology or trauma of Domestic Violence. I believe we need to raise the standard of  professional responsibility of agencies so that they're able to recognize and detect signs or patterns of Domestic Violence and handle it properly, with so much recent funding given to Modesto it should be invested into the care of protecting our citizens. I strongly believe it needs to be prioritized that the M.P.D.and Sheriff's receive the most up to date and training on how to treat victims with respect, and how to understand the psychology of the victims P.T.S.D. and how abusers think without conscience, behave without morals, and manipulate without regret and go to great lengths destroying evidence and lying to avoid getting caught. Maybe also allow the sessions to be free to the public as well to reenforce the public's faith in the quality of the material being taught to those in Law Enforcement sworn to protect them. Win-win.

What are the obstacles you are aware of to address the problem?

Systemic bias, most people just want things over and done with so they like to think the women is crazy or nagging, while her abuser stays absolutely calm and quiet and gaslights her even right in front of others. They should think about why this man is so calm while this woman is frantic not vice versa but nobody cares about abuse anymore they even think some women deserve it or are lying trying to abuse the system to get back at her abuser. They chose the simple answer and wash their hands of the victim because the truth is just to complicated and they don't care about their jobs duties unless someone files a complaint. Their needs to be a weight and measures advocate to make sure these agencies and those of authority are treating victims with respect and without bias and to the fullest of their job description.

What are the success criteria that could be defined to address this problem?

The criteria for success would be to publicize the idea, create a formal public request through media outlets like Modesto Bee and then it would gain momentum from the community for support and have an huge impact on the local Law Enforcement/Hospitals/Haven to either agree with the public and adapt to change in order to keep public image intact if not even actually gain a better reputation through this OR decline to do anything and the public will have no choice but to keep proposing change and that will be the beginning to a beautiful new standard of care and prevention for victims. Whether it's someone's single mother abused by her husband, a homeless gay boy who just turned 18 and was abused by his parents, or someone's little sister turned homeless prostitute after Law Enforcement ignored her claims of psychology abuse by a local drug dealer just because she didn't have proof of physical abuse, they deserve help their future is worth saving. We as a community shouldn't let it get this far.