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Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence not upholding domestic violence legislation

Posted Oct 13 2009 10:06pm

I'd like to post this story here tonight because I'd like to discuss the roles of these large Coalitions "against domestic violence". Tonight this story was all over the news, Legislator DuWayne Gregory of Suffolk County NY would like to introduce legislation that would create an online registry of the county's domestic batterers. To many victims of domestic violence, this sounds like a great idea, but the Coalitions are speaking out against this.

"Jo Anne Sanders, the executive director of the Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said she is apprehensive about listing domestic violence offenders online. She said some victims may become more afraid to call police if they believed their abusers would be publicly shamed."

'"I'm just not sure it's going to work, and I'm worried it would backfire," Sanders said. "If the victim feels that someone looks up the name and they find her husband or boyfriend's name, that might reveal information about her family that she doesn't want out there."' (

I disagree. I completely disagree. Before the Coalitions speak out against domestic violence, and, at the same time, suppress battered women and prevent new legislation that would benefit so many victims, they should do a little thinking. So far, we are behind as a country at preventing domestic abuse and properly punishing batterers. Women are in desperate need of new solutions, and the solutions the Coalitions are currently offering are not innovative, and, in my opinion, not in the best interest of the victims. This is not the first time I've read or heard about the Coalitions speaking out against innovative solutions to combat domestic violence--the CA Coalition publicly spoke out against the use of GPS tracking for abusers only a few months ago.

As I read through the articles about the online domestic abuse registry legislation, I couldn't help but notice the victims that are in favor of this legislation. I wonder if the Coalitions take our opinions into account before they make foolish statements and hinder the movement against domestic violence. While the CEO of the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence makes statements like this legislation is '"well-intentioned" but impractical', I believe the Coalition's lack of innovative solutions and lack of response to DV is impractical and dangerous. And if you speak to many victims of domestic violence, not Coalition CEOs, they will tell you the same thing.

"At yesterday's committee meeting, a 46-year-old woman urged lawmakers to approve the measure to help other women steer clear of her ex-husband, whom she said locked her in a closet and abused her and is now meeting women online."

'"This is the man who is still on eHarmony," said the woman., "He's dating your mother, your sister, your daughters."' (

This is supposed to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month, for once I'd like to see Coalitions pushing forward and urging reform, not preventing solutions that victims are in need of, not protecting the abusers--let's be honest, that's how it comes off. For once I'd like to see a Coalition take the victim's side, and stop making excuses that are simply ridiculous. I do hope legislators listen to the victims on this issue, not the CEOs of large Coalitions--who really don't know the first thing about the everyday struggle a battered woman must suffer through on a daily basis in this country.

The SCCADV's mission is below:

OUR MISSION is "to assist and empower victims of domestic violence through provision of a wide range of services and to work toward the prevention of domestic violence."
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