Newspaper article The Florida Times Union
Family Violence Targeted Camden Seminar Cites New Strategy
KINGSLAND -- Attorneys prosecuting family violence cases say a
strategy used to combat the crime has raised conviction rates in
Georgia: Don't let the victim testify.
The logic behind the strategy, speakers at a family violence
seminar held yesterday said, protects victims from reprisals and
prevents them from changing their testimony in court.
More than 50 people, including clergy, law enforcement,
victim's advocates, Navy personnel and judges, attended the
meeting at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base to learn more about
one of the most prevalent, yet under-reported crimes.
George Turner, assistant district attorney in Camden County,
estimated that "at least 25 percent" of his office's workload
involves family violence cases.
While much has been done to create awareness about family
violence during the past decade, more has to be done to stop the
cycle of violence, said Kim Warden, a magistrate judge in Fulton
"Domestic violence crosses all lines, all occupations," Warden
said. "There is no logic to it."
One strategy used in courts to combat family violence is
relying on "evidence-based prosecution without victim
testimony," Warden said. This strategy is preferred because
victims sometimes recant statements made to officers responding
to the scene of domestic violence, she said.
Prosecution rates have increased statewide as a result of the
strategy, Warden said.
Nancy Hunter, a former therapist specializing in family
violence cases with the Atlanta Police Department, said she is
pushing for state lawmakers to make probation for misdemeanor
family violence cases three years instead of the current one
Hunter told the audience that 95 percent of all family
viohlence victims are women and children and the majority of
people in prison for all crimes have come from abusive homes. …