Domestic Violence

Michael Martin

Rick and Tess laugh a lot. After 22 years together, they finish each others sentences and tease each other constantly. “I’ve got the one-in-a-million,” says Rick of his wife. “Yeah, me too,” laughs Tess. The pair's marriage hasn't always been easy, three years ago Rick was arrested on domestic violence charges.

Rick and Tess didn’t want to use their real names, but they did want to talk about their experience with Ada County’s domestic violence court. This special court has become a model for judges around the country in the fight against domestic violence.

hand gun
Stephen Velasco / Flickr Creative Commons

An organization that researches violence and advocates for tougher gun laws has released a study that shows Idaho has the seventh-highest rate of women killed by men in the nation.

The Violence Policy Center released its annual report analyzing homicide data Wednesday. The organization found that in Idaho, 14 females were murdered by males in 2011. That translates to a rate of 1.77 per every 100,000, higher than the national average of 1.17 per 100,000.

Officials with the only domestic violence shelter in the southwestern Idaho city of Nampa say the shelter may close because of financial woes.

Program Services Director Charlene Wright told the Idaho Press-Tribune that if Valley Crisis Center doesn't get an infusion of cash soon it could close by the end of October. Wright says the shelter has had trouble paying staffers and paying rent for transitional housing, and the program needs at least $50,000 to keep afloat.

A bill to protect victims of domestic violence comes up for a vote this week in the U.S. Senate.  Some Senate Republicans oppose the legislation because it expands prosecutorial powers for native American tribes, and adds protection for battered illegal immigrants, gays, and lesbians. 

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)  is a co-sponsor of the bill.  He says the provisions that have been criticized aren’t central to the legislation.   “I believe these are critical programs that need to be re-authorized and I’m going to be a strong advocate for it.”