Maria Shriver was on the Today Show this morning promoting the Shriver Report about the changing role of women in America. It is hard to reconcile how this feminist First Lady can keep silent while her Governator husband Arnold Schwarzenegger is closing domestic violence shelters in California. Eve Ensler took him to school in the Huffington Post.
In response, California State Senator Leland Yee introduced a bill which was unanimously passed to restore $16.3 million of the $20.4 million budget for domestic violence shelters in the state. The bill is awaiting Gov. Schwarzenegger’s signature.
Eve Ensler is asking everyone to call the governor at 916-445-2841 to ask him to sign this bill.
If he fails to do so, a protest will be held on Friday, October 23 at LA City Hall. Eve Ensler plans to be there.
Pilot Program: Pro Bono Legal Services for DV Survivors
Barbara Bentley, author of A Dance with the Devil: A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath, tipped me off this morning to an article in the Los Angeles Times: “California Gives the Poor a New Legal Right” by Carol J. Williams. This very well-researched article cites a myriad of examples of how the legal system can be manipulated as an instrument of abuse. In a nutshell, California will be conducting a pilot program of granting the same right to counsel in civil cases that criminals get under the U.S. Constitution:
The program is the first in the nation to recognize a right to representation in key civil cases and provide it for people fighting eviction, loss of child custody, domestic abuse or neglect of the elderly or disabled.
. . .levels the legal playing field and gives underprivileged litigants a better shot at attaining justice against unscrupulous landlords, abusive spouses, predatory lenders and other foes.
This is great news for people in California who are experiencing litigation abuse. I hope it will be successful and will be replicated in other states.