Friday, August 29, 2008

Book Review: Girl Bomb

"Girl Bomb", by Janice Erlbaum, is a memoir about growing up as a child living in a home with domestic violence. Well written and amazingly insightful, Erlbuam lets the reader into her world of abuse, drugs, sex and homelessness. After Erlbaum's mother takes back her abusive husband, Erlbaum grabs her back pack and walks out the door of their Brooklyn apartment. Now homeless on the streets of NYC at the age of 15, she finds her self bouncing between shelters for teen girls. Her story takes you through the life of a teenager battling a drug addiction, having promiscuous sex, watching her peers die of overdoses and all the while mourning the loss of her mother and only family to an abusive husband. "Girlbomb" sheds a new light on the effects domestic violence has on the family system, specifically children. Highly recommended.

Monday, August 25, 2008

WA State Allows Victims to Testify Against Sex Offenders and Rapists After the Statute of Limitations Has Passed

A new law in Washington State now allows victims of sex offenders to testify in court even if the statute of limitations for the crime has passed. In a case against Roger Scherner, 79, the state allowed prior victims who had not previously come forth with information about abuse to testify in court. One woman, now 49, testified about her abuse by Scherner that happened 33 years ago while she was on a family vacation. She did not tell anyone about the abuse and the statute of limitations has expired.

Previously the law had only allowed prosecutors to bring the alleged sex offender's past history into court under very strict guidelines. Advocates of the new law, passed in June, hope that allowing previous victims to testify will help convict sex offenders by establishing a pattern of abuse and showing that the alleged person is capable of committing such a crime, and has done so in the past, even if they have not be charged until now.

To to read more, please visit the article in The Seattle Times "Rape trial lets family share decades of pain, secrets".

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Program for Batters in Brooklyn

The success of Batterer Intervention programs is a highly debated topic within the domestic violence community. Are they helpful or not? Can a batterer change their behavior? Most domestic violence resources focus on helping women leave their abusers, but there is a small focus of the community which is reaching out to the batterers in the domestic violence relationship. WNYC reported on a new type of batterer invention program in Brooklyn. You can read the transcript of the interview here.