From the community

Measure to Increase Safety for Domestic Violence Victims Receives Public Hearing

Posted Jan. 13, 2014, at 9:40 a.m.
Tony Llerena

Senator Emily Cain sponsors bill to improve use of evidence-based risk assessments

AUGUSTA–The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will hold a public hearing on a bill sponsored by Democratic Senator Emily Cain of Orono to increase safety for victims of domestic violence on Monday, January 13, at 10 a.m. in room 436 of the State House.

“Over the past three years, we have taken major steps as a state to improve the way we respond to the escalation of domestic violence in Maine. I am proud to have been a leader on these initiatives, but there is still work to be done,” said Senator Cain. “My bill will increase safety for survivors of domestic violence by improving how law enforcement, judicial, and community entities share information in order to craft the most effective response when domestic violence occurs.”

The measure builds upon a law sponsored by then-House Democratic Leader Cain requiring law enforcement officers receive training to use evidence-based domestic violence risk assessments. However the law did not specific how the information obtained from the assessments could be used.

LD 1656, “An Act to Increase Safety for Victims of Domestic Violence,” clarifies how law enforcement, judicial, and community groups share information obtained from the risk assessments in order to plan the most effective response when domestic violence occurs.

“By coordinating our knowledge and efforts, we can better determine the risk for domestic violence and plan for the safety of victims and their families,” added Senator Cain.

The bill also also enacts some changes to the bail system to increase safety for survivors of domestic violence and clarifies the protection for survivors participating in the Address Confidentiality Program maintained by the Office of the Secretary of State.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and representatives from the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, and the Maine Women’s Lobby are expected to testify in support of the bill.

WHO: Senator Emily Cain

WHAT: Public Hearing for LD 1656, “An Act to Increase Safety for Victims of Domestic Violence”

WHEN: Monday January 13 at 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Room 436 of the State House

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