Court Closures Pose Safety Risk for Domestic Violence Victims


C.Hayes photo 2012While the rest of the country celebrates the arrival of spring with baseball season openers, picnics and cherry blossom festivals, for Sacramento political types the warmer days and budding foliage herald a different annual rite: budget season in California. All this month and into May, legislative budget subcommittees are meeting to determine what the state can afford to fund, and which services will need to be scaled back or eliminated.

The reduction of court services statewide is an area of budget austerity that has caused a lot of concern. When local court branches reduce their hours and services, or in some cases close entirely, residents experience inconveniences both minor (longer lines) and major (trial delays). But for California’s domestic violence victims, the reduction of court services is more than a mere inconvenience. The ability to promptly file a protective order or a temporary restraining order can mean the difference between sleeping safely at night and being in serious danger. Story continues at the Sacramento Bee.

I’m a writer for the Sacramento Bee, contributing a monthly column on politics and women’s issues. I post links to my columns here on the blog.




  1. I am so often saddened at the fact that certain political decisions ‘trickle down’ to affect those most in need first while those making the choices remain blissfully ignorant. Thank you for shining a light on one of the important issues here.

    • Thank you for reading! It’s already so difficult for DV victims to get out of abusive relationships safely. The last thing we should be doing is creating more barriers to leaving.

  2. Thank you. Linda

  3. Cheryl Jeffreys says:

    Over the years society has come to recognize domestic violence as a serious and common occurance. Logically this would mean that with more recognition we should find more solution, more action and more attention by those in position to regulate the situation. These individuals who have the power to impose justice whereby reassuring victims that they are heard and protected. But that is logically and at present, we are a system without logic in fact we are sadly becoming just a system without.

    • Thanks for your comment, Cheryl. There are many laws on the books protecting domestic violence, but they are not always enforced as rigorously as they should be. Justice, in this case, is a work in progress.

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