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Wednesday, 27 September 2006 00:00

Bonfoey discusses shelter safety issues

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Following the brutal shooting death of a Jackson County woman staying at a local shelter for battered women, District Attorney Mike Bonfoey met with representatives of domestic violence victim advocacy groups in the 30th Judicial District last week to discuss and implement actions enabling domestic violence shelters to improve security.

 

Bonnie Woodring, 48, was shot at close range with a shotgun and killed when her husband John “Woody” Woodring, 35, forced his way into the REACH women’s shelter. The shelter, has an alarm system and panic buttons, and has not had a similar incident in its 28 years, according to REACH staff.

Bonfoey addressed five things that could be achieved quickly in order to help prevent future violence to victims and at domestic violence shelters:

• Better security at each shelter, including secure doors and locks and security cameras.

• The establishment of a safe and secure waiting room at each courthouse for victims and witnesses of domestic violence, sexual assaults and child molestations.

• Change the law to include as an additional aggravating factor for the imposition of the death penalty the situation in which the killer murders a person that has the protection of a DV protection order or the person has sought refuge in a shelter or the person is a shelter worker/volunteer.

• Change the law by making the crime of trespass upon the grounds of a shelter a felony.

• Increase our police patrols of DV shelters to raise the police visibility at shelters.

”These are five things that are very reasonable. I know our communities have the determination to achieve these five things. Everyone wants to be safe in our communities and when someone is forced to seek shelter at a domestic violence shelter they should feel safe and be safe from harm,” Bonfoey said.

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