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New invoice pressures San Francisco Police Division, DA to launch extra knowledge on home violence instances

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – A bill aimed at putting pressure on the San Francisco police and the San Francisco prosecutors to release more data on domestic violence cases was tabled in committee Thursday.

“I urge prosecutors to release what we have requested and more,” San Francisco Regulatory Authority Catherine Stefani said during a public safety and neighborhood services committee hearing.

ACTION: Get help with violence, assault, and abuse at home

Stefani says there is evidence that victims of domestic violence are kept short in the criminal justice system. It introduced a law in May that, if passed, would require the SFPD and the prosecutor’s office to provide quarterly reports on domestic violence cases to the board of directors, the mayor and other city departments.

“Reporting requires how many calls to 911 are made that are related to domestic violence and how many of those calls involve a child or a gun,” Stefani said.

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Legislation would also require that the number of domestic violence cases submitted to prosecutors be disclosed along with the charges filed and the outcome of those cases.

The bill’s hearing follows a report recently released by the Family Violence Council that found that 79 percent of people fleeing abuse and / or seeking protection were turned away during the pandemic due to capacity constraints and increased demand.

“It is very difficult for domestic violence survivors to leave the country,” said Jenny Pearlman, who works with Safe and Sound, a children’s aid organization. “If a family that has experienced violence has no shelter, the family will most likely have to return to the home where the abuse takes place.”

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There were 131 arrests for domestic violence crimes in San Francisco in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to SFPD. 86 percent of these cases were dismissed, only nine percent were charged.

ABC7 reached out to the prosecutor’s office and asked for a larger sample of this data to see how many domestic violence cases were indicted throughout the year. Our team did not receive this information before our deadline, but received the following statement:

“Numbers declined during the pandemic, especially during detention periods, which particularly affected cases of domestic violence. As a result, our office has also allocated significant resources to expanding support for domestic violence victims to provide shelter and transportation during the pandemic. ”

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The prosecutor’s office also told ABC7 that filing and fee rates for domestic violence cases in San Francisco rose from 24 percent in 2020 to 31 percent this year. By comparison, over the past five years, the highest fee rate reported for this type of case was 35 percent in 2018.

“I just think we have to do better,” said Stefani.

The draft law will be presented to the Supervisory Board for the first full vote in two weeks.

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