05-21-2018  7:38 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated jumi million to a campaign seeking to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington state.Allen made the announcement on Twitter Monday.The Alliance for Gun Responsibility says...

Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man is accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo hotel, shoving Xanax down her throat and forcing a fentanyl spray up her nose in what police say was attempted murder.The Daily Herald reports the woman survived and was able to escape and alert...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

Correction: 2018 Midterms-Endorsements story

ATLANTA (AP) — In a story May 20 about potential Democratic presidential candidates and their campaign activity in 2018, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former Vice President Joe Biden was planning to campaign in North Carolina on behalf of a congressional candidate Dan...

Border agent questions 2 women for speaking Spanish

HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are reviewing an encounter between a Border Patrol agent and two women who were speaking Spanish at a gas station in northern Montana, the agency said Monday.Allegations have been made before of law-enforcement officers in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix says it has signed Barack and Michelle Obama

NEW YORK (AP) — Barack and Michelle Obama are getting into the television business with Monday's announcement that they had signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.The former president and first lady have formed their own production company, Higher Ground Productions, for the material. In...

Artist Robert Indiana, known for 'LOVE' series, dies at 89

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his island home off the coast of Maine. He was 89.Indiana died on Saturday from respiratory failure at his Victorian home in a converted Odd Fellows hall, a fraternal order lodge, where he...

Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Miss Nebraska has been named Miss USA.Sarah Rose Summers beat out 50 other women from all the states and the District of Columbia.At the start of the two-hour broadcast, the field was immediately narrowed down to 15 contestants according to how they performed during...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

What is lava haze? A look at Hawaii's latest volcanic hazard

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is pouring into the sea and setting off a chemical...

Syrian government declares capital fully under its control

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's military on Monday captured an enclave in southern Damascus from Islamic State...

Divided Supreme Court sides with businesses over workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that businesses can prohibit their workers from...

Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Susan Walters
Arashi Young of The Skanner News

Last Wednesday, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners proclaimed the week of April 19 – 25 to be National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The declaration is as an opportunity to promote awareness of crime victims’ experiences and to push for greater protections.

The national theme for this years’ victims’ rights week is “engaging communities and empowering victims.”

District Attorney Rod Underhill testified before the county board about the hardships of crime victims who are often overlooked and neglected.

“Each year, thousands of residents of Multnomah County experience the trauma, pain, humiliation and personal and financial losses of being a victim of crime,” he said.

Susan Walters spoke to the council about that after her estranged husband, Michael Kuhnhausen, hired a hit man to kill her. She survived the 15-minute deadly force encounter and ultimately killed her attacker, Edward Haffey.

"Fifteen minutes in the hallway was a lot easier than everything that came after, the pain of betrayal, the fear of a second attack by someone on his behalf,” she said.

Walters said this fear defined her life. Victims’ rights advocates helped her get control again by suing Kuhnhausen in a civil case to prevent him from using the money to hire another hit man. She found peace only when he was convicted and incarcerated.

Once her ex-husband’s parole began to near, Walters needed the help of her advocates again. She had many questions about his release, and she felt like she wasn’t getting any answers. Only when she contacted the Oregon Crime Victim's Law Center did she feel like she was being heard.

While she was glad to have a parole plan that brought in her needs, Walters expressed frustration to the council about the confusing and disjointed process that still needs improvement.

Underhill said there are many bills in the Oregon legislature that would strengthen and protect victims’ rights. A number of the bills pertain to protecting parties who have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault. These decrees include:

  • HB 3476: Prohibits disclosure of communications between persons seeking services related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking and their advocates.
  • HB 2317: Extends statute of limitations of certain sex crimes from six to 12 years after commission of crime or, if victim was under 18 years of age, anytime before victim becomes 30 years of age.
  • SB 525: Prohibits possession of firearm or ammunition by a person who is subject to a restraining order or who has been convicted of domestic violence crimes.

Underhill also mentioned legislation that would make it easier to receive testimony from people who are either victims of sex crimes, child witnesses or special witnesses who are unable to testify in person.

  • HB 3040: Provides that certain hearsay statements related to specific sex crimes are admissible in evidence even if the victim is available as witness.
  • SB 822-1: This bill that authorizes word-for-word recordings of grand jury proceedings. An amendment to the bill has been made so that child witnesses or special witnesses can have recorded statements entered into the record instead of testifying in person.
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