The Mayor's Commission on Women has sent a letter to the Lancaster County Attorney's Office encouraging the office to prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence "to the fullest extent of the law." The Victim Witness Unit of the Lincoln Police Department estimates that an average of three people are arrested every day in Lincoln for assault of a domestic partner.
"We understand that the facts and circumstances of each case vary and that your office is afforded considerable discretion in determining whether to prosecute a particular case," reads the letter, signed by Commission Chair Kathleen Uhrmacher. "Our daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers deserve a community that supports their efforts to establish and maintain safe and healthy family relationships."
Mayor Chris Beutler commended the Commission for its efforts "to stay informed on the issue, to advocate for victims, to support prevention programs and to increase awareness of domestic violence."
Among the issues explored by the Commission is the Lindsey Burke Act passed by the Nebraska Legislature in 2009. The act is named for a young Rhode Island woman who was killed in 2005 by her domestic partner. Her family has worked to get legislation passed in the states that requires all public schools to educate young people on the issue. The Lincoln Public Schools now has programs for both students and staff about dating violence.
More information on the Commission and its statement on domestic violence are available at friendsofmcw.org.