Violence & Justice

How to Have Trauma-Informed Conversations with Survivors of Domestic Violence

Being trauma-informed means understanding how trauma has impacted a person’s life, including their behavior and cognition.

Engaging in this type of dialogue can help survivors recognize when trauma is occurring and spare them from further harm. This involves providing a nonjudgmental, listening ear without jumping to problem-solving mode, and being careful not to insinuate that a survivor is to blame for the abuse.

Trying to Help Survivors, a Domestic Violence Agency Turns the Focus

A program run by Monarch Services, a domestic violence intervention and prevention agency in Santa Cruz County, aims to help people responsible for domestic violence change their behavior patterns.

Called Positive Solutions, it encourages participants to tune into their emotions, practice nonviolent communication skills and identify negative childhood experiences that may have led them to express emotions in a violent way.

Pregnant Behind Bars, Part Five: Looking To The Future

The final installment of this five-part series about Los Angeles County’s unique Maternal Health Diversion Program explores the pressing need for LA’s Office of Diversion and Reentry to scale up its diversion capacity. Thus far, the money to do so hasn’t been there.

The Maternal Health Diversion program pulls pregnant people from the county’s women’s jail and places them in interim group housing until they’re ready to move into their own permanent housing with their children. All the while, participants receive a broad array of services.

Pregnant Behind Bars, Part Four: The Mothers

Long before the point of lock-up, the moms now in a Los Angeles diversion program for pregnant incarcerated people said they experienced problems for which they might have gotten assistance — things like housing insecurity and homelessness, domestic violence, substance use disorder, and involvement with the child welfare system.

With the support of the Maternal Health Diversion Program, many of these women said they are now able to get the help they need.

Domestic Violence Survivors Often Don’t Want to Call the Police. California Tries A New Approach

In October, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill that will fund pilot projects that provide alternative responses to domestic violence. While cities and jurisdictions have launched similar efforts, California is the first state to support such experiments at scale.

“It’s the biggest investment in alternative responses that the state has ever seen,” said Cat Brooks, of Justice Teams Network.

Pregnant Behind Bars, Part 3: When Things Go Wrong During Diversion

Diverting pregnant people from LA County’s jails is a complex process involving many moving parts and many players — including the diversion court, probation, child welfare, health care clinicians, case managers, housing providers, and the clients themselves.

In the third part of this multi-part series, our partners at WitnessLA explore some of the ways in which the process of diversion can jump the rails.

Pregnant Behind Bars, Part Two: When Housing Changes Everything

The process begins with a list of names.

Every few days, the obstetrics team inside Los Angeles County’s main women’s lockup, the Century Regional Detention Facility, sends the county’s Office of Diversion and Reentry a roster of pregnant people currently held in the facility.

The goal is to decide who qualifies for the Maternal Health Diversion Program, which diverts pregnant women away from jail and into supportive housing.

Pregnant Behind Bars, Part One: Second Chances

Women have become the fastest-growing incarcerated population in the U.S., even as overall national incarceration numbers have begun to slowly recede. Approximately 80 percent of the 2.9 million women jailed each year in the U.S. are mothers.

Los Angeles County’s Maternal Health Diversion Program disrupts the incarceration cycle by moving pregnant people out of jail cells and into supportive housing.

California Laws Don’t Prevent Minors from Marrying Adults

In California, a person under 18 can marry with the consent of one parent and a judge. The state is one of only nine in the nation that do not set a minimum age for marriage.

People married as children or teens are more likely to experience domestic violence, contract sexually transmitted infections, have early pregnancies, and end up divorced, research shows. Marriage under 18 also contradicts age of consent laws in many states.

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