Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners has proposed this resolution. What do you think? Is freedom from abuse a human right? Does it go along with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
Sponsors of the Resolution are Commissioners: Sally A. Heyman, Prime Sponsor; Lynda Bell, Audrey M. Edmonson, and Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsors
Here is the Resolution:
RESOLUTION EXPRESSING THE BOARD’S INTENT TO DECLARE THAT THE FREEDOM FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners (“Board”) of Miami-Dade County, Florida (“County”) seeks to enhance the public welfare by declaring that the protection against domestic violence is a fundamental human right; and
WHEREAS, survivors of domestic violence must deal with the effects of physical injuries, long-term psychological damage, financial instability, and trouble finding safe housing; and
WHEREAS, more than 1 in 3 women and more than 1 in 4 men in the United States will experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lives; and this problem disproportionately impacts women of color, women with disabilities, women with low income, and immigrant women within Miami-Dade County, as well as their children; and
WHEREAS, according to 2011 Uniform Crime Reports, of the 111,681 reported domestic violence offenses Statewide, 9,313 occurred in Miami-Dade County, representing the highest number of domestic violence cases of any county in Florida; and
WHEREAS, of those 9,313 Miami-Dade County domestic violence offenses, about half (4,736) resulted in arrests; and of the 5,970 temporary injunctions issued in Miami-Dade County on domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual violence, twenty-three percent (1,401) resulted in the issuance of permanent injunctions; and
WHEREAS, in 2011, in Miami-Dade County, domestic violence victims made 5,567 crisis hotline and direct service calls for assistance; and shelters provided overnight protection to victims fleeing domestic violence 23,276 times; and there were 1,846 new admissions to residential and nonresidential domestic violence service facilities; and
WHEREAS, the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women recognizes the urgent need for the universal application to women of the rights and principles with regard to equality, security, liberty, integrity, and dignity of all human beings, and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women has stated that “violence against women is the most pervasive human rights violation” and has urged the United States government to reassess laws and policies for protecting domestic violence survivors and for punishing abusers; and
WHEREAS, in 2011, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights found in Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. Untied States that the United States’ failure to protect women from gender-based violence constitutes discrimination and a human rights violation, and urged the United States to enact law and policy reforms to protect victims of domestic violence and their children; and
WHEREAS, world leaders and leaders within the United States recognize that domestic violence is a human rights concern; and police and sheriffs departments, courts, counties, cities, social service agencies, and other local government entities constitute the first line of defense against domestic violence; and
WHEREAS, by recognizing that domestic violence is a human rights violation, Miami-Dade County will raise awareness and enhance domestic violence education in communities, the public and private sectors, and within government agencies,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that:
Section 1. This Board expresses its intent to join world leaders and leaders with in the United States in recognition of domestic violence as a human rights concern and declares that the freedom from domestic violence is a fundamental human right.
Section 2. This Resolution shall serve as a declaration to assure the citizens of the County that state and local governments bear a moral responsibility to secure this human right on behalf of their residents.
Section 3. This Resolution shall serve as a charge to all local government agencies to incorporate these principles into their policies and practices.
Section 4. A copy of this Resolution is to be sent to the Mayor, the Honorable Chair and Members of the Board of County Commissioners, the Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Mayors and Commission and Council members of each municipality within Miami-Dade County.