THE SENATE                           S.C.R. NO.            184
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                S.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                    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 per cent 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 a dispute involving someone
11   with whom they have or 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 per cent; 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

 
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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   has 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 is requested to study Hawaii's domestic violence and
30   abuse laws, including laws relating to protective orders; and
31   
32        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Bureau is requested to
33   include in its study:
34   
35        (1)  A review of relevant statutory provisions;
36   
37        (2)  An examination of those bills relating to domestic
38             violence and abuse introduced during the Regular
39             Session of 1999 that, in the Bureau's opinion,
40             deserve consideration for purposes of the study;
41   
42        (3)  A discussion of any progressive laws relating to
43             domestic violence and abuse from other states that,
44             in the opinion of the Bureau, may contribute to a
45             better understanding or elucidation of the issues
46             raised herein or to possible solutions; and
47   
48        (4)  Recommendations for a recodification of the domestic
49             violence and abuse laws as necessary to enhance the
50             protection of victims and provide for uniformity and

 
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                                                         S.D. 1
                                                        

 
 1             consistency, where applicable, particularly in laws
 2             relating to protective orders and bail restrictions;
 3             and
 4   
 5        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following are requested to
 6   provide assistance to the Bureau upon request:  the Judiciary,
 7   the Department of the Attorney General, the State Public
 8   Defender, the office of the prosecuting attorney and the police
 9   department in each of the counties, and the Hawaii State
10   Commission on the Status of Women, the Hawaii State Coalition
11   Against Domestic Violence, Child and Family Services, Parents
12   and Children Together, and the Domestic Violence Clearinghouse
13   and Legal Hotline; and
14   
15        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Bureau submit its findings
16   and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the
17   Legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of
18   the Regular Session of 2000; and
19   
20        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
21   Resolution be transmitted to the Attorney General, the State
22   Public Defender, the prosecuting attorney and the chief of
23   police in each of the counties, and a representative of the
24   Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, the Hawaii
25   State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Child and Family
26   Services, Parents and Children Together, and the Domestic
27   Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline.