Thanks to determined Santa Clara County, Ca., prosecutors, domestic-violence victims throughout California soon will be able to obtain long-term protective orders the instant their assailants are convicted, rather than endure a multistep process that can drag on for months, reports the San Jose Mercury News. “This is absolutely amazing and wonderful,” said Stacy Castle of YWCA Silicon Valley and its Support Network for Battered Women. “I’m proud of the DA’s office for streamlining this. It certainly will help protect the safety of victims.”
The new state law rectifies a situation that has long troubled advocates against domestic violence, Now, after someone is convicted of a domestic violence offense and goes to jail, the victim must obtain a separate post-conviction restraining order. Under a new law effective Jan. 1, the instant an assailant is convicted, a judge can impose a protective order for up to 10 years, whether the charge is a felony or a misdemeanor. There are two kinds of orders: one excludes any contact at all; the other allows limited “peaceful contact,” including the dropping off and picking up of children.