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Green signs bills to regulate domestic abuse interventions, restraining orders

 File - Gov. Josh Green at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol on April 6, 2023.
Office of Gov. Josh Green
File - Gov. Josh Green at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol on April 6, 2023.

Advocates hope a handful of recently signed bills by Gov. Josh Green will provide more protection for survivors of domestic abuse.

Green signed two bills on Friday that would amend referral requirements for restraining orders to only when alleged child abuse allegations arise and would require court-ordered interventions, or anger management, for certain criminal offenders.

Nanci Kreidman, the Domestic Violence Action Center's CEO, said the measures aim to make the system "more responsive and effective for survivors."

"For example, custody evaluators are asked by the court to evaluate situations where custody will be determined by the judge," Kreidman said.

"If they don't have any training about domestic violence, then they're interviewing the mother, the father, the children. But they're missing all the cues and all the red flags about domestic violence, so their recommendation is not going to be very effective," she said.

“It's not going to be very helpful, and it's certainly not going to provide protection for the victims in the family, whether it be the child or the adult," she continued.

Other bills waiting to be signed would clarify who can file for a restraining order and can attend hearings for restraining orders remotely.

Additionally, Senate Bill 45 would allow minors 16 or older to petition for restraining orders and Senate Bill 1267 would allow non-residents to petition for restraining orders.

Cassie Ordonio is the culture and arts reporter for Hawaiʻi Public Radio. She previously worked for Honolulu Civil Beat, covering local government, education, homelessness and affordable housing. Contact Cassie at cordonio@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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