Legislation Aimed at Reducing Domestic Violence

Abuse-Domestic(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) (WGGB)–A bill filed on Beacon Hill would make Massachusetts one of the strongest states in the nation in dealing with domestic violence.

The bill was unveiled by House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Work on the legislation began after Jared Remy was arrested last August and charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend Jennifer Martel.

Remy is the son of Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy.

The case has prompted questions about whether Remy’s history of domestic violence was overlooked or if he’d been treated too leniently by the criminal justice system in the past.

Mary Readon Johnson is the Executive Director of the YWCA of Western Massachusetts.

She says domestic violence is a huge problem,”We’re also seeing pretty horrendous incidents of domestic violence and how the system doesn’t quite have it down like the Remy case, says Reardon Johnson.

The new bill would delay bail for domestic battery suspects giving victims more time to find safe places to stay,  toughen penalties for offenders and require judges to undergo more training around domestic violence issues.

So why don’t more women come forward when they’re abused,”A lot of people say why don’t women leave and the reason is they’re frightened many feel they can’t call,” says the YWCA’s executive director.

Mary Reardon Johnson emphasizes that it’s important for victims to know agencies like the YWCA are there to help them find safe places  away from abusers,” Every time there’s an interview it triggers some thoughts in some women’s heads  that it might make them think it’s time to call and we want them to make that call and let them know we’ll be here,” says Reardon Johnson.

To emphasize how serious this domestic violence problem is the YWCA says its hotline gets 8-thousand calls a year and its battered women’s shelter is 99 percent full.

The YWCA’s 24-hour hotline is (413) 733-7100 or (800) 796-8711.



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  • Kody61

    There would be no need to call the police if my sister was being abused. Cuz I’d put the fear of God in that SOB…… Fast. I know some don’t have that option with these cowards, and that’s what they are. But if it happens once, it’ll happen again. Leopards don’t change their spots. Go to your family. Go to his family, go to someone. But go. And don’t change your mind when you go to court, like 1/2 the cases do.

  • Rags

    The tone of the article is predictable…. protecting women from domestic violence. And it’s a very big problem that needs addressing. But it’s not exclusively a male on female issue and it’s wrong to overlook or dismiss the other aspects. The incidence of female violence against a male partner is on the rise, most likely because men are beginning to get past the stigma and report it. In a society where men are looked at badly in this sort of incident and are not supposed to hit a woman, even if she is constantly doing that to him, it’s little wonder that these sort of episodes go unreported. Add to that – the incidence of domestic abuse in lesbian couples happens at the same rate as heterosexual couples, and this is rarely reported as well. Domestic violence is far to big and important an issue to play politics with and both the legislature and the media need to recognize that it is far more complicated than simply declaring men to be batters and women the victims.