Last week, a grand jury indicted a father in Waianae saying he nearly killed his baby daughter. The man had been accused of violating a TRO protecting his children and their mother.
But the case was dropped by the judge after a year in court, when the mother didn't show up to testify.
Advocates for domestic violence victims say this is a too common pattern. Women and children in need of protection don't feel much safer with a court order, and in fact may feel that going to court puts them at greater risk.
Too many times we have seen violence and even murder against women who tried to seek legal protection.
The advocates say the key is getting all pieces of the system – police, prosecutors, attorneys, advocates and judges – to focus a little more energy and resource on these cases.
One idea is to create a felony charge for violating TROs where violence has been confirmed.
For too long, violence in the home has been treated less seriously than when it happens elsewhere. It's time for that to change.