CA Domestic Violence Judge Has A Personal Past


Judge Erica Yew brings personal experience to emotionally charged cases in Santa Clara County, Ca., domestic violence court, reports the San Jose Mercury News. “I remember feeling a lot of shame,” said Yew, 45, recalling her enduring beatings silently in a relationship she wanted desperately to save, but couldn’t. “If people know that domestic violence can happen to anybody and that it is OK to talk about it,” she said, “then I believe, I hope, that people will come forward and get help for themselves or others.”

Hearing often stressful domestic violence cases, Yew calmly listens to defense attorneys, prosecutors, victims, and the accused. She hands down restraining orders, jail time, or treatment programs for batterers. “It would be easy for someone with her background to be more of an advocate for victims than to be more of a fair and impartial judge,” said public defender Alfred Spielman, who has represented clients before Yew accused of domestic violence. “I feel like she is very fair and doesn’t personalize anything.”


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