Liysa Swart is a Domestic Violence Advocacy and Education Coordinator for Voices Set Free spoke at our August 29th Friday morning meeting. She is doing all she can to spread awareness about the dangers of domestic violence. She does many speaking events and is a devoted advocate. Liysa is also a survivor. She was abused for many years by her former husband and ended up killing him in self defense. As a result, she spent 12 years in prison.. for protecting her life and her child’s life.
Oregon has the second worst record for violence against women and children in the nation. Right now, when police fail to protect victims of abuse, (The Violence Against Women Act states that they have a right to reasonable protection) women and children are just expected to die, because “just leaving” often precipitates homicide. Often the families of police officers suffer some of the most severe abuse, and these officers fail to hold other batterers accountable as well.
In the last century, 98 law enforcement officers in Oregon have been killed in confrontation, but nearly 3000 women and children have died in this state during that period. The law should reflect the “reasonable fear” that true victims experience.
When victims who have no other options but to fight back, they are prosecuted. This is an abuse of power and a waste not only of taxpayer dollars, but of lives as well. It is inhumane to expect people to just “take it” or die. Leaving is when most fatalities occur, and victims can be prosecuted for custodial interference for protecting children.
Early intervention, in the form of Intensive Batterer Intervention, tools for protection-like prosecution for terroristic threats and spouse assault risk assessments should be implemented.
Mandatory education about what constitutes abuse and the long-term negative effect on children should be required. (I-learn.gov)
We should be helping victims rather than re-victimizing and punishing them. Hold the real criminals accountable.
Improving the laws can save the state millions of dollars.
Liysa Swartfirstname.lastname@example.org 503-577-9791
For more information visit: http://www.voicessetfree.org Voices Set Free-
Domestic Violence Education and Advocacy
Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crises Center
Support Women and Children in Nigeria