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Approve the Empowerment Model to end the Cycle of Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence is the use of force to control a partner in the household. It takes 4,000 women each year (Domestic Abuse Shelter, 2015). Fluctuations [in self-esteem] are internally driven by my reactions to something going on in my world. One of the most damaging influences on our self-esteem is our own inner shame voice... [Our inner shame voice] is the one that says to us “You aren’t good enough.” It’s the voice that holds us back from being our best person, scares us from striving to reach outside the box, tells us that we won’t succeed so why try? (Howarth, 2016). 

Female victims of domestic violence represented 65 percent of the workforce experiencing abuse and had 26 percent higher rate of absenteeism and tardiness than non-victims (SIR, 2011). Victims of intimate partner violence lost almost 8 million days of paid work because of the violence perpetrated against them. This loss is the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of violence (Domestic Shelters, 2015). 

The No-Drop Policy  limits the discretion of prosecutors to dispose of cases without holding a defendant accountable. It may be held out as a commitment to ensuring that cases of domestic violence get their day in court (NCJR, 2001). Although the No-Drop Policy increases the chances of having an abuser brought to justice, the idea restores faith in the justice system more than it does for the victim. Mandatory arrests are unwaranted arrests made by the police based on suspicion of domestic violence. However: hostages experiencing ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ will not be very cooperative during rescue or criminal prosecution. Local law enforcement personnel have long recognized this syndrome with battered women who fail to press charges, bail their battering husband/boyfriend out of jail, and even physically attack police officers when they arrive to rescue them from a violent assault (Carver, 2014).

In addition to existing No-Drop Policy and mandatory arrests should be modified, the California Health and Human Services Agency and the California State Government must enforce empowerment counseling, also known as “The Empowerment Approach”. Empowerment theory supports services provided domestic violence victims, grounded in the belief that victims of domestic violence should have access to information, education, and other necessary social and economic support to make informed decisions that best reflect their interests and needs (SIR, 2011). From making their own decisions, victims will prioritize themselves as they begin to see themselves as more confident and proactive for themselves.

Sign below to help get the empowerment approach approved by California Senator Kamala Harris.

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