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THE SENATE                           S.C.R. NO.            S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                H.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            C.D. 1
                                                             
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________


                    SENATE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION
  REQUESTING A STUDY OF HAWAII'S LAWS RELATING TO DOMESTIC
    VIOLENCE.



 1        WHEREAS, domestic violence and abuse continues to be the
 2   greatest threat to the safety and welfare of many families in
 3   our society; and
 4   
 5        WHEREAS, between 1992 and 1997, domestic violence and
 6   abuse homicides made up 24.3 percent of the total number of
 7   homicides in Hawaii; and
 8   
 9        WHEREAS, among women who are murdered in Hawaii, the
10   majority are killed as a result of disputes involving someone
11   with whom they have or have had an intimate relationship; and
12   
13        WHEREAS, domestic violence and abuse often begins in an
14   elusive and insidious manner, as a perpetrator systematically
15   attempts to gain power and control over another by undermining
16   the victim's self-esteem, identity, and choices; and
17   
18        WHEREAS, domestic violence and abuse is not an isolated
19   event, but is a continuum that may begin as manipulation,
20   humiliation, or intimidation before it escalates to violence;
21   and
22   
23        WHEREAS, domestic violence and abuse includes verbal and
24   emotional abuse as well as physical abuse; and
25   
26        WHEREAS, the dynamics of domestic violence and abuse in
27   certain "lesser" criminal offenses, such as harassment, are not
28   recognized under present law, thus precluding the opportunity
29   to provide meaningful protection to the victim and appropriate
30   intervention and sanctions for the offender; and
31   
32        WHEREAS, although arrests for domestic violence and abuse
33   have increased over the past decade, the conviction rate
34   remains at about 30 percent; and
35   
36        WHEREAS, without court intervention to break the cycle of
37   violence, many women and children remain at substantial risk of
38   harm or death; and
39   

 
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                                  S.C.R. NO.            S.D. 1
                                                        H.D. 1
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 1        WHEREAS, it is apparent that there are a number of "pukas"
 2   in our system that prevent women and children from receiving
 3   the protection our laws are intended to afford; and
 4   
 5        WHEREAS, each legislative session, numerous laws relating
 6   to domestic violence and abuse are introduced to resolve such
 7   problems and strengthen protections to women and children; and
 8   
 9        WHEREAS, during the Regular Session of 1999, over one
10   hundred bills relating to domestic violence or to abuse were
11   introduced; and
12   
13        WHEREAS, much of Hawaii's domestic violence and abuse laws
14   have been enacted on a piecemeal or "patchwork" basis, thus
15   allowing for loopholes and inconsistencies; and
16   
17        WHEREAS, for example, a number of inconsistencies exist
18   between provisions relating to protective orders that may be
19   issued by the district court and those issued by the family
20   court; and
21   
22        WHEREAS, a thorough review is needed of Hawaii's domestic
23   violence and abuse laws to identify loopholes and
24   inconsistencies; now, therefore,
25   
26        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
27   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 1999, the House of
28   Representatives concurring, that the Legislative Reference
29   Bureau (Bureau) is requested to study Hawaii's domestic
30   violence and abuse laws, including laws relating to protective
31   orders; and
32   
33        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that as part of its study, the
34   Bureau consult with representatives from the following
35   departments, agencies, and organizations:  the Judiciary, the
36   Department of the Attorney General, the State Public Defender,
37   the office of the prosecuting attorney and the police
38   department in each of the counties, and the Hawaii State
39   Commission on the Status of Women, the Hawaii State Coalition
40   Against Domestic Violence, Child and Family Services, Parents
41   and Children Together, and the Domestic Violence Clearinghouse
42   and Legal Hotline; and
43   
44        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Bureau include in its
45   study:
46   

 
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                                  S.C.R. NO.            S.D. 1
                                                        H.D. 1
                                                        C.D. 1

 
 1        (1)  A review of relevant statutory provisions;
 2   
 3        (2)  A discussion of laws relating to domestic violence
 4             and abuse from other states that may contribute to an
 5             understanding or elucidation of the issues raised
 6             herein or to possible solutions; and
 7   
 8        (3)  Recommendations for a recodification of the domestic
 9             violence and abuse laws as necessary to enhance the
10             protection of victims and provide for uniformity and
11             consistency, where applicable, particularly in laws
12             relating to protective orders and bail restrictions;
13   
14   and
15   
16        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Bureau submit its findings
17   and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the
18   Legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of
19   the Regular Session of 2000; and
20   
21        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
22   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Attorney General,
23   the State Public Defender, the prosecuting attorney and the
24   chief of police in each of the counties, the Acting Director of
25   the Legislative Reference Bureau, and a representative of the
26   Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, the Hawaii
27   State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Child and Family
28   Services, Parents and Children Together, and the Domestic
29   Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline.