Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

                                   RE:  S.B. No. 823
                                        S.D. 1

Honorable Norman Mizuguchi
President of the Senate
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii


     Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No.
823 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill is to require judges, when imposing
a sentence for certain domestic violence offenses, to consider as
an aggravating factor the fact that a minor witnessed the crime.

     Your Committee finds that children who witness domestic
violence are harmed in many ways, and acknowledges that domestic
violence is a perpetuation of a violent cycle, as children of
abuse grow up to be abusers themselves.   Your Committee further
finds that 3.3 million children annually witness domestic
violence.  Various studies indicate that in homes where there is
domestic violence, approximately 87 percent include children who
witness these violent acts.  Over eighty studies have documented
multiple problems among children that have witnessed continual
assaults by one parent on another in the home.  These problems
include:  psychological and emotional distress such as
aggression, hostility, anxiety, social withdrawal, and
depression; cognitive functioning problems such as lower verbal
and quantitative skills and the development of attitudes
supporting the use of violence; and physical problems such as
delayed motor skills, speech difficulties, and multiple health
problems.  Therefore, because of the high social and financial
costs resulting from domestic violence, your Committee agrees

                                   STAND. COM. REP. NO. 832
                                   Page 2

that more serious penalties should be imposed for both their
deterrent and punitive effects. 

     Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by the
Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, the Department of
the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu, the
Honolulu Police Department, the Domestic Violence Clearinghouse
and Legal Hotline, and the Child and Family Service.

     Upon further consideration, your Committee has amended this
measure by:

     (1)  Defining "in the presence of the minor" to mean in the
          actual physical presence of a child, or knowing that a
          child is present and may hear or see the offense; 

     (2)  Deleting the provision that requires the family court
          to amend the sentencing guidelines; and

     (2)  Making technical, non-substantive changes for the
          purposes of clarity and style.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your
Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No.
823, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second
Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 823, S.D. 1, and
be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committee on Judiciary,

                                   AVERY B. CHUMBLEY, Co-Chair

                                   MATTHEW M. MATSUNAGA, Co-Chair