Sens. Tony Ada and Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. lauded for strengthening local laws against family violence
Governor Eddie Baza Calvo lauded Senators Tony Ada and Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. for their new public laws that strengthen Guam’s stance against family violence.
Public Law 31-109, introduced by Senator Ada, requires that first time family violence offenders who intend to enter diversion programs for their crimes enter “deferred guilty pleas.”  The deferred guilty plea means that the plea is not recorded into the offenders record unless he fails to complete the diversion program.  Previously, no plea was required to enter the diversion program.  This allowed the offender to seek trial after not completing the diversion program, often making prosecution difficult.
“We have to stand together and say loudly that we are a community that does not tolerate family violence,” Governor Calvo said.  “Sens. Ada and Rodriguez’s laws will make a difference in this campaign against abuse and domestic violence.  I thank them and all the leaders of this movement for caring about the victims who often feel they do not have a voice.”
Senator Rodriguez also was successful in establishing the “Family Violence Registry Act.”  Public Law 31-103 now requires that all repeat offenders with multiple offenses involving domestic or family violence to be registered in a centralized database available for public reference.  Additionally, Senator Rodriguez’s law includes provisions stating that first-time family violence or domestic abuse offenders convicted of using a deadly weapon or of criminal sexual conduct involving a minor must register at the time of the first offense.
Guam’s non-profit organizations, victim advocacy groups and government agencies will be working throughout October to raise awareness about ways to end family violence on Guam and provide support for victims undergoing the healing process.
Governor Calvo signed a proclamation recognizing October, 2011 as Family Violence Awareness Month. The annual campaign will involve education, community outreach events and memorial services to support and remember victims of family violence.
“The statistics of family violence cases here in our small community are staggering,” Governor Calvo said.  “We really need to come together and find ways to help victims overcome these struggles.  I commend each of you here today for your work in ending family violence and I assure you that you have full support from the administration in all your efforts.”

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