Separate court hearings for intimate partner violence survivors and perpetrators

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Currently, after there is an accusation of intimate partner violence when the survivor and perpetrator go to court the survivor is forced to give their testimony in the same courtroom as the perpetrator.  Many times this is the first time the survivor has seen the perpetrator since the reported incident.  Survivors of intimate partner violence may experience one, all, or a combination of the following types of intimate partner violence:

Emotional abuse: can include verbal attacks with name calling, insults, or humiliation.  There may also be threats to harm the victim, other family members/pets, harm themselves, threaten suicide, or to ruin relationships or separate the victim from their children.  The abuser may also cause isolation from friends and family and regular activities the victim usually enjoyed.  Emotional abuse decreases the victim's self-esteem and self-worth by rejecting the victim's opinions and instilling fear.  
Physical abuse: is the infliction of injury and usually is the most visible type of abuse.  Physical abuse may start out small but usually, increases in severity as time goes on and can eventually lead to death.  Some forms of physical abuse can include but are not limited to shoving, hitting, slapping, choking, grabbing, physical restraint, kicking, burning,  punching, and use of weapons.  
Sexual abuse: is any sexual encounter without consent.  This can include but is not limited to forcing the victim to perform sexual acts, manipulating the victim for sexual purposes, sexual criticism or humiliation, marital or date rape, beating sexual parts of the body, and rape with foreign objects.
With the trauma that many survivors face comes strong and debilitating emotions.  The perpetrator often times has a large amount of control over the victim and can continue to instill fear during the court trial just by being in the same room.  Because of this many victims refuse to share their testimony or the whole testimony or do not press charges against the perpetrator.  We are petitioning to gain support from a legislator to create a bill that would allow separate trials for the survivor and the perpetrator.  This would allow survivors to be more comfortable and have a better chance of gaining justice.  Please show your support by signing below.



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