Organizations Advocating for Survivors of Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence Sign Letter Opposing California’s AB 2470 

Gavel with open book and scales on table

Gavel with open book and scales on table

By Praniti Gulyani 

SACRAMENTO, CA – In a letter dated April 18 addressed to Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), chair of California Assembly Public Service Committee, a group of organizations expressed its opposition to AB 2470, authored by Assemblymember Joe Patterson (R-Rocklin).

According to the letter, the organizations include the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, San Francisco Public Defender and Sister Warriors Freedom Coalition, among others.

The groups, in the letter, note, “AB 2470 seeks to expand the draconian Three Strikes Law and create longer prison terms without any measurable improvements to community public safety, crime deterrence, or justice for survivors of domestic violence.”

The letter added the organizations “agreed that the Legislature must enact new policies and programs to better prevent and respond to domestic violence (DV) and intimate partner violence (IPV).”

Moreover, the letter adds, “a few pieces of legislation that we support and believe would deliver meaningful assistance and relief to survivors of domestic violence…do not rely on failed carceral responses.”

According to the letter, the pieces of legislation supported by the undersigned organizations include “AB 2354…that empowers all survivors of intimate partner violence, human trafficking, and other forms of violence, regardless of their background or the nature of their conviction, to seek justice by petitioning the court to dismiss or vacate sentences that stem from circumstances related to their victimization. This relief critically removes roadblocks to accessing essential resources, such as housing, job training, and employment.”

The letter also affirms how the organizations support AB 2499, which “guarantees work time off for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and related crimes, and holds them harmless of any employer retaliation for taking time to heal or support a loved one’s healing from trauma, and AB 1956, which requires “California support funding for essential crime victim services including legal services, emergency shelters, rape crisis centers, health care services, hotlines.”

However, per the letter, “AB 2470 is based on the premise that we must wait for someone to be convicted of DV to prevent gun violence. AB 2470 will not prevent future cases of DV and IPV, given the mounting research and federal guidelines rejecting arguments that lengthy prison terms carry a deterrent effect.”

The letter also questions the intent of AB 2470, noting, “The Penal Code already provides steep penalties for the crimes AB 2470 seeks to address. AB 2470 will make things worse by fueling the ‘victim-to-prison pipeline’ and wasting limited state resources better spent on direct services for survivors — which effectively work to improve survivor health and safety.”

The opposition letter also describes how AB 2470 might act conversely to the well-being of survivors, stating, “Far too often, officers arrest survivors along with their abusers due to mandatory arrest laws. Even if they aren’t charged or convicted, an arrest can be traumatic and make survivors less likely to seek help in the future.”

About The Author

Praniti Gulyani is a second-year student at UC Berkeley majoring in English with minor(s) in Creative Writing and Journalism. During her time at The Davis Vanguard as a Court Watch Intern and Opinion(s) Columnist for her weekly column, ‘The Student Vanguard' within the organization, she hopes to create content that brings the attention of the general reader to everyday injustice issues that need to be addressed immediately. After college, she hopes to work as a writer or a columnist in a newspaper or magazine, using the skills that she gains during her time at The Davis Vanguard to reach a wider audience.

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