Thursday, May 28, 2009

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part XXV): Woman sentenced to 25 years for killing husband in domestic dispute

The big news on the crime front in the May 14, 2009, issue of the Newton County Times regards the plea bargain and sentencing of a 34-year-old woman who shot and killed her husband. Read the initial coverage of the matter here. The woman, of rural Yardelle (not even a Census Designated Place), told police that she and her husband had been arguing most of the day, and drinking at a neighbor's house. The argument escalated when they got home, and she eventually "retrieve[d] a shot gun from behind couch where she was sitting, which she told police she had done 'several times before' when they had argued." The husband reportedly laughed and told her to "go ahead and pull the trigger," which she did. She says she did not know the gun was loaded.

This week's news report indicates that the woman, who was initially charged with first-degree murder, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, for which she was sentenced to 10 years. She was also initially charged with a "felony with firearm" sentence enhancement, which was not amended by the prosecution and thereby adds an additional 15 years to her total sentence, which will be served in the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections. The story does not indicate when she will be eligible for parole, nor does it indicate (of course) who will care for the couple's minor children. It's difficult to assess the appropriateness of this sentence without knowing more, but it strikes me as rather harsh under the circumstances reported.

In other front-page crime news, the paper reports that the county jail is still operating "pending action to close it by the state attorney general." Read more here. In April, 64 "inmate days" cost $386 for meals. The Sheriff's report also indicates that the office investigated 8 felony cases and 31 misdemeanors in April. The total miles patrolled were 12,760.

Another front-page story reports that the Arkansas State Police are joining with other law enforcement agencies to "buckle down on motorists not buckling up." The story indicates that the effort "is being supported by an $8 million national paid advertising campaign." It does not indicate the fine amount or other penalty for not wearing a seatbelt.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Are cowboys wimpy? Perhaps only when it comes to alleged terrorists

In her latest column in the New York Times, Gail Collins highlights the responses of several Montana politicians to the offer of nonmetropolitan Big Horn County, Montana (population 12,671) to take the Guantanamo prisoners. U.S. Senator Max Baucus said, "We're not going to bring Al Qaeda to Big Sky Country--no way, not on my watch," while the junior U.S. Senator from Montana, Jon Tester proclaimed, "If these prisoners need a new place, it's not going to be anywhere near The Last Best Place."

The point of Collins' column is that Manhattanites (those in New York, that is, as opposed to those in Manhattan, Montana) have proven far less squeamish about having terrorists housed and tried on their tiny island than have some rural and frontier states. (She doesn't mention the reaction out of Kansas to the possibility that the Gitmo prisoners might go to Fort Leavenworth, but you can listen to an NPR interview with the Kansas governor here.) In doing so, Collins articulates the rural-urban dichotomy in an interesting way: "The nation, as we all know, is divided into crowded states and empty states, and I was always under the impression that folks in the empty places were particularly brave and self-reliant."

In making her point about Montana being an "empty" state, Collins provides this background on Hardin, Montana, population 3,384, which is the county seat of Big Horn County.
Unemployment is rife. “You go look at our downtown, there’s many closed businesses ... you’ll see drunks laying in the street. It’s not a pretty sight,” the head of the town’s economic development authority told National Public Radio. The town built a $27 million, 464-bed prison under the theory that other parts of the state would pay to have Hardin look after their problem residents. But it’s been empty since it was declared open for business nearly two years ago, and the construction loans are in default.
So, it seems, Hardin is one of many rural places that hitched its economic fortunes to the (mostly rural) prison-building boom. (Read more here and here). But the return on their investment hasn't been what they anticipated, and now their U.S. Senators are undermining their bid to help themselves.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summer internships related to sustainable agriculture suddenly all the rage

Read Kim Severson's story in the New York Times here. An excerpt about recent college grads working on organic farms and related enterprises follows:

They come armed with little more than soft hands and dog-eared copies of Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which takes a dim view of industrial agriculture.

A few hope to run their own farms. Others plan to work on changing government food policy. Some are just looking for a break from the rigors of academia. But whatever the reason, the interest in summer farm work among college students has never been as high, according to dozens of farmers, university professors and people who coordinate agricultural apprenticeships.
The entire story is a must read, including some fascinating anecdotes that illustrate the culture clash that (inevitably) follows from such arrangements ...

Defining "urban" becomes controverial in Florida

A story in the New York Times a few days ago reports on a proposed Florida law that would redefine "urban" for purposes of land use and development regulations. Because under the relevant law, "rural" is the remainder/remnant/left-over after "urban" is defined, this story necessary implicates rurality. Here's an excerpt from Damien Cave's report about a law that would loosen restrictions on development in all except "urban areas":
Opposition focuses mainly on one formula: 1,000 people per square mile. This is the bill’s definition of urban.

In communities that fit that description, developers would no longer have to pay if local roads could not handle the impact of their projects. The law would also let individual municipalities or counties designate areas for large-scale development — an outlet mall, a sprawling subdivision — without being subject to regional planning boards that currently analyze how such plans would affect communities nearby.
Drawing the line between rural and urban at 1,000 persons/square mile--about one person per acre--means that this definition of urban will exclude from regulations and additional requirements (such as enhancing roads to accommodate increased traffic) many single-family home developments. Opponents of the bill argue that it will lead to greater sprawl and diminish revenue for roads and transportation in places most in need of them.

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part XXIV): Jasper's first (and to date only) police officer retires

The only front page story in the April 30, 2009 edition of the Newton County Times that touches on law or crime reports the retirement of Jasper's first police officer, Mike Liles, after five years of service. This news report calls Liles Jasper's Chief of Police, but as far as I can tell from the story, he is also the sole officer for the town.

Prior to Liles' hiring in 2004, the only law enforcement officers in the county were the sheriff and his few deputies, along with a sole Arkansas Highway Patrol officer. The story indicates that the city will hire a new officer in October, though it doesn't explain the wait, which may be attributable to budget considerations. I have no idea how the tiny city of Jasper pays for an officer's salary and expenses -- perhaps a mill levy, perhaps federal funds, maybe both. Jasper, population 498, is the county seat of Newton County, population 8,608.

The other front page stories this week basically reproduce company press releases:
  • FNBGF celebrating 78th anniversary (that's First National Bank of Green Forest)
  • Jasper Dollar General grand opening is Saturday. I have no idea why a grand opening is being celebrated since this store has been in Jasper for several years.
Finally, a photo and caption depict and discuss the planting of a tree in memory of a former county resident. The tree has been planted on the courthouse law. The final line of the caption provides some perspective on the item: "The month of May is the traditional month for decorations, cemetery beautification and reunions in Newton County."

Back to crime, however, a story on the back page of the (8-page) paper reports that several counterfeit $100 bills have been passed in the Piercetown area that the Sheriff's office is investigating, in collaboration with the U.S. Secret Service.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Students lead successful effort to recall school board in rural California

Read the Sacramento Bee story out of Groveland-Big Oak Flat, California (population 3,388) here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So, rural voters matter after all (at least in India)

A line from Somini Sengupta's New York Times story about the recent election in India caught my eye. It seeks to explain (at least partly) Sonia Ghandi's success as President of the Congress Party, which is only 12 seats shy of an outright majority after last week's polling:
First, under Mrs. Gandhi’s leadership, the Congress-led coalition homed in on the rural poor. During its first term, buoyed by robust economic growth, it used record government revenues to increase social spending, not just raising health and education budgets, but also starting an ambitious public works program in the countryside and a costly loan repayment waiver for farmers.
Now, according to some commentators, Ms. Ghandi, the 62-year-old, Italian-born widow of Rajiv Ghandi, is in a position to become prime minister if she wished. More likely, experts on Indian politics say, her soon Rahul, age 38, will soon get that job.

Read other blog posts about the rural-urban divide in India here and here.

At least they're not calling it a "bridge to nowhere"

Read this story from the New York Times about a new bridge over the Monongahela River that will soon essentially displace a ferry service that has been used for decades. The locale of these goings on is Fredericktown, Pennsylvania, in Appalachia, and the ferry links that town, in Washington County, to Fayette County, PA, to the east. Perhaps more importantly, as the story by Sean D. Hamill notes, the ferry has connected struggling Fayette County with "the healthy urban cores in Pittsburgh and Morgantown, W.Va." Previously, Fayette County was home to mines; now it is home to a state prison, which creates much of the traffic crossing from Fredericktown to Washington County on the river ferry.

In the near future (c. 2012), however, an expressway--complete with bridge--is to be completed to link Fayette County to the rest of the region, including Washington County. Yet residents are resistant to give up the local ferry, known as "Fred," which they have relied on for years. Here's an excerpt that includes a quote from a local resident:

For most of Fred’s loyal passengers, the familiar red-and-white steel shell has become as much a part of the valley as the river itself. For a region that has seen mines and factories shut and residents and stores leave in their wake over the last 40 years, Fred has become a cause to hold onto.

“It’s the big conversation here all the time now,” said Cheryl Ann Boone, a bartender at Bower Brothers Lounge, a restaurant that sits near the entrance to the ferry in Fredericktown. “It’d be terrible to shut it down. It’s a landmark here, and we’ve lost so much already over the years.”

Another local woman, age 62, states that she won't take the bridge once it's finished. Of Fred, she says, "I’d love to see it continue. It’s just been such a big part of my life.”

Meanwhile, a county commissioner for Washington County, which like Fayette County has long subsidized the ferry, states: “It’s a quaint little artifact that we have in Washington County, and we’re proud of it ... But how much can you spend on quaintness?”

The story notes the role of the federal government in all of this. First, the federal government is presumably financing the new expressway and bridge, which are likely to displace the ferry. Second, the federal government has set aside almost $1 million to refurbish or replace the ferry. That same county commissioner states:
[He] started wondering about the ferry’s future in December, when the counties formally accepted a $970,000 federal grant to pay for most of a renovation or replacement for Fred. ... People say, ‘Well, the money has been obligated, why not spend it?’ But I’m not cavalier about spending money ... . We might be spending $1 million to overhaul an operation that might have a life expectancy of three years.
After all of the obloquy (and rural bashing?) associated with that Alaska bridge near Ketchikan--for which Sarah Palin rejected that federal money, leading to a heyday among politicians--I am surprised no one has pejoratively referred to this bridge (as they did to the Alaska bridge) as one "to nowhere."

Disaster risk linked to urbanization in the developing world

Read Andrew C. Revkin's report in the New York Times here. Like an article that I have forthcoming in the Michigan Journal of International Law, these just-released reports question the wisdom of what I call the "urban juggernaut" in the developing world by pointing out some of its negative consequences. While these reports focus on natural disasters, my article focuses on aspects of ecological sustainability in the face of rapid urbanization.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Auto dealership closures have profound consequences for rural communities

Listen to an NPR story here, with the dateline Peterborough, New Hampshire, population 5,883.
The loss of the featured dealership there, in relatively densely populated New England, means that residents will have to travel only about 20 minutes to reach another Chrysler/Jeep dealership. However, the story reports a much greater impact on the town in terms of its loss of a significant community presence for purposes of charity sponsorships and civic engagement.

Another NPR story, this one by Martin Kaste, discussed the rural angle explicitly, also noting that many closing dealerships have been pillars of their community. Yet here is an excerpt from Chrysler's bankruptcy filing that mentions the downsides to rural dealerships:
"Many rural locations also served a diminishing population of potential consumers. Some dealership facilities became outdated. Other locations faced declining traffic count and declining populations."
On the other hand, another NPR report quoted had GM officials regarding the importance of their rural market base.

Read here and here earlier blog posts about the issue of struggling car dealerships in rural America.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is rural lack of anonymity part of this story?

The rural angle of this New York Times story goes unexpressed, but it's in there nevertheless in this tale out of Heppner Oregon, population 1,395. Two 56-year-old-women were switched at birth in the tiny hospital in this town in eastern Oregon. Of course, that could happen anywhere--though it is much less likely these days given the precautions now taken at hospitals. The rural story here, I think, is in the lack of anonymity that led to the women discovering the switch. Here's an excerpt about that:

Both women were born on May 3, 1953, the only births that day in tiny Pioneer Memorial Hospital in rural Heppner, Ore. Both grew up happily, got married, raised children and now have grandchildren.

Then, last summer, say friends and family members, an elderly woman who knew the families of both women long ago made a call to [one of the women's] brother. The woman, who has not been identified, had news she felt she had to share as her life neared its end and the younger women’s parents had already died.
It is the source of this woman's knowledge that suggests a rural lack of anonymity. How curious that the woman who kept this secret--perhaps a nurse at the hospital, perhaps a towns-person who saw the family resemblances (or lack thereof)--came forward only so many years on, after the women could meet their biological parents.

Good health care news out of Shasta County, California

Ed Fletcher files another story out of Shasta County, California, in today's Sacramento Bee. The dateline is Round Mountain (population 122), about 30 miles northeast of Redding, and the headline is "Community health center expands to meet rural need." Here's a short excerpt about the center and its history:

In addition to the wide-ranging medical care, the clinic serves as the community library and has become the de facto town hall for the communities of Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, Ingot and Hillcrest.

"We are the only game in town for several square miles," Dorroh [the center's CEO] said. "This is where the community turns to."

The center had a humble start in 1985 in a double-wide trailer. That and a second double wide added later were destroyed – along with most of the community – in the 1992 Fountain fire.

On June 19, the surrounding community of 4,600 is expected to celebrate the grand opening of the sparkling expansion, which has received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in Washington, D.C..

The story also discusses how the UC Davis School of Medicine is training doctors willing to serve rural areas and partnering with health care providers like this one to practice telemedicine, which permits "rural patients access to urban specialists through video conferences."

In addition, Fletcher's story notes that the center's expansion is intended to accommodate growth, as Round Mountain and environs are increasingly exurban to Redding, population 88,954.

A rural angle on the mortgage crisis

Listen here to Scott Finn's story, "Rural America Facing More Foreclosures," for West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"'Going green' hits rural resistance"

That is a front-page headline in today's Sacramento Bee (which features a different headline in its online edition: "Prominent power lines dim green enthusiasm for some"). The story focuses on rural opposition to high-voltage lines that would transport wind, solar, and geothermal power from places like rural Lassen County, which could become home to a generating facility, to the state's urban centers. The report notes opposition in rural Shasta, Yolo, and Colusa counties, which would become host to the new transmission infrastructure.

Read Ed Fletcher's full story here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rural (or Western) self-reliance in the face of the recession?

A front-page story in today's New York Times reports on the rates at which residents of different states are availing themselves of the various federal assistance programs for which they are eligible. While it is difficult to generalize too much about the data in Jason DeParle's report, it appears that residents in Western states, including several sparsely populated Great Plains and inter-mountain states, are currently less likely to receive aid.

The article is accompanied by various graphics, which depict at a glance the 10 states with the highest rate of aid receipt and the 10 states with the lowest rate of aid receipt for six different categories of federal assistance: welfare, unemployment, housing assistance, food stamps, health insurance for poor adults, and health insurance for poor children. It reveals inconsistencies: Western states are occasionally at both extremes--sometimes home to the highest percentages of those receiving benefits, but more often home to the the lowest percentages of recipients.

Experiences in South Dakota, Idaho, and Wyoming are illustrative of the contradiction. The rate of receipt of unemployment benefits in South Dakota is the lowest in the nation, at 19%, while the rate of receipt for housing assistance there is the highest, at 45%. For the prior designation, South Dakota is accompanied by its similarly sparsely populated neighbor, North Dakota, but also by Colorado, which has grown rapidly in recent years. At the high end for receipt of unemployment benefits, on the other hand, are Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska, along with Arkansas and states widely known to be hard hit during this recession: Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Housing assistance, on the other hand, is highest in South Dakota and Wyoming in the West, but lowest in 9 other Western states and Florida. Other states with high rates of housing assistance are mostly in South and Appalachia, areas widely associated with poverty: Kentucky, West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Wyoming and Idaho are in the bottom 10 states for receipt of both welfare and food stamps. But many in Idaho get unemployment benefits, and Wyoming is one of the top states for residents' receipt of housing assistance.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

U.S. Postmaster reverses decision to stop serving back-country Idaho

Howard Berkes of NPR filed an updated report yesterday on the U.S. Postmaster General's plan to cancel weekly mail deliveries by a small plane into the central Idaho wilderness. Listen to the story here, and read my post about his prior report on the planned cancellation of service here.

It seems that the Postmaster General was swayed by lobbying from Idaho's congressional delegation. Among other points they made: $46K in savings from canceling this service won't make much of a dent in the $6 billion budget deficit the postal service is facing.

Berkes quotes one resident of the Idaho area whose mail delivery has been saved as pointing out, "If Idaho was canceled, who was next? What about all of the nonprofitable rural mail delivery in America?"

Friday, May 8, 2009

Four rural states declare their sovereignty in the face of the federal stimulus

Read William Yardley's story from the New York Times here. An excerpt follows:
When legislatures convened this year, lawmakers in more than 30 states set out to send Washington a blunt message: back off. Frustrated by federal policies like the bank bailout and rules allowing wolves to prowl the West, they drafted so-called sovereignty resolutions, aggressive interpretations of states’ rights outlined in the Tenth Amendment.
But as state legislative sessions are coming to a close, only four have passed sovereignty measures: Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota. All are rural by many measures.

Here's a great quote from an Idaho legislator about the catch-22 in which such states found themselves in the current economic climate, with stimulus dollars at stake:
“The stimulus money created a problem for us with the sovereignty thing,” said JoAn Wood, a Republican who is chairwoman of the House Transportation and Defense Committee in Idaho, which has overseen some legislative action on the stimulus money. “We’d like to stand on principle.”

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part XXIII): Bonds issued to finance new jail

The April 23, 2009 issue of my hometown weekly newspaper, The Newton County Times, reports that the county is going ahead with a bond issue to finance construction of a new jail and law enforcement center. The necessity for this jail has been the topic of numerous posts, for example here, here, and here. The urgency associated with the jail project has increased in recent months as the State of Arkansas condemned the existing century-old structure.

Voters in November approved a 1/2 cent sales tax increase for the construction of the jail, but they did not approve a companion increase for the cost of maintaining the facility. Nevertheless, the Newton County Quorum Court has adopted a resolution authorizing the issues of $1.5 million in capital improvement bonds to finance all or part of the construction costs. The sales tax to re-pay the bonds, with interest, went into effect on May 1, 2009. Initially, the county envisaged raising $2.7 million to construct the jail, and the reports cites "state law and the current economy are factors" as reasons for the reduction.

In unrelated news, a glossy 4-color insert in this week's paper promotes Arkansas tourism. The prior two issues of the paper have featured an insert (also 4-color but on newsprint) promoting tourism in Newton County.

The Daily Yonder responds to Brokaw re: local government costs

Read Bill Bishop's thoughtful response here.

My post about Brokaw's piece is here.

There's lots of other good stuff on the Yonder this week, including this story about both political parties' responses to the recession's impact on rural places and their proposals regarding what government should do about it.

I note in particular this action by the GOP:
Last week House Republicans announced a new group composed of 15 Republican House members that will address rural issues. The Rural America Solutions Group will “focus on solutions that create jobs and economic opportunities as well as address the unique challenges rural communities face,” according to a press release.

The group is taking President Obama to task for failing to deliver on a campaign promise to hold a rural issues summit in the first 100 days of his administration.

An earlier post about the Democrats' efforts on behalf of rural communities is here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rural sociology programs in jeopardy: another sign that rural folks don't matter much anymore?

I learned today that the Department of Community and Rural Sociology at Washington State University in Pullman is likely to be terminated, leaving half a dozen or so rural sociology professors out of work, among other unfortunate consequences. Read the WSU press release here.

I suppose you could say it is in good company, as the other WSU programs that will likely be cut are theatre and dance, German, and sports management.

The Dept. of Community Studies at UC Santa Cruz is apparently also on the chopping block. As one rural sociologist commented in an email relaying this news, it is somewhat shocking that even long-standing and prestigious rural sociology programs are so vulnerable.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Racial injustice in rural Hearne, Texas

That's the topic of a just released move, "American Violet." Listen to the NPR story about it here. An excerpt from Wade Goodwyn's NPR report follows:
The movie is based on the story of Regina Kelley, a woman caught up in a misguided drug raid that took place in Hearne, Texas, about 120 miles north of Houston. More than two dozen public housing residents — most of them black — were arrested and charged with selling cocaine.

As national civil rights organizations got involved, it became clear that the arrests were based on tips from an unreliable informant — a drug addict. Most of the charges were dropped. A civil-rights lawsuit followed.
After viewing the film, one African-American resident of Hearne commented, "Maybe now, people will open their eyes to what's going on in these smaller towns."

Hearne's population is 4,690. It is in Robertson County, which has a population of16,000.

Justice Souter and the rural life

Abby Goodnough reports in today's New York Times from Weare, New Hampshire, population 7,776, where Justice David Souter has maintained a home for years. This is where he lives when the Supreme Court is not in session. The headline, "A No-Frills Embrace for a Low-Key Justice" suggests something about rural culture, at least as manifest in New England, as do many of the story's descriptions of Weare and environs. Goodnough speculates that for Souther, this "rural" place is "heaven." She writes:
Most of all, friends say, Justice Souter can be an ordinary guy here, amid others who are not besotted with the fast track, the high life or material goods. In New Hampshire, where reticence is a virtue, he can blend back into the citizenry without a hitch.
Goodnough quotes a lawyer friend of Souter's, who hikes with him: “But David has got a real love for the people and the land and the simple things here. I’m not sure I know a lot of people who are more connected to a place than he is. It’s a very strong, kind of visceral feeling that he has.”

This quote certainly suggests the sort of attachment to place often associated with rurality, though Souter was born in neighboring Massachusetts and moved here at the age of 11. Not only has he lived off and on in Washington, DC, since he was elevated to the Supreme Court almost two decades ago, he lived in the city while attending Harvard University for both his undergraduate and law studies. Nevertheless, by all accounts Souters much prefers this corner of New Hampshire, whether because it's rural, because it's New England, because it's home--or all of the above.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Criminal justice in Indian country complicated by jurisdiction, rural realities

I made the point a few days ago that this NPR story about the Chickasaw had an unexpressed rural angle. Today, another NPR story similarly left the rural-urban difference angle unacknowledged. The story is about crime--in particular, rape--in Indian country and the jurisdictional complications when the perpetrator is non-Indian. The gist of the problem is that, as a practical matter, a jurisdictional void often exists because U.S. federal courts have jurisdiction under these circumstances, but they do not prioritize the cases. Thus the crimes go unpunished, indeed, are not even investigated in many instances. One federal study reports that U.S. attorneys fail to prosecute about three-quarters of the rape cases involving Indian complainants and non-native perpetrators.

But the story is not only about the complexities of jurisdiction. It is also a window into law enforcement challenges in rural contexts. By way of illustration of the paucity of law enforcement in Indian country, the story notes that "the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, which straddles North and South Dakota, had five Bureau of Indian Affairs officers to patrol an area the size of Connecticut." It also reports that tribes are increasingly using revenues raised from casino operations to establish and enhance their own criminal justice systems, e.g., police, prosecutors, courts. In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs helps finance such tribal law enforcement efforts, most recently with $85 million in a March, 2009, appropriations bill. (Another $500 million in the February, 2009, stimulus bill went to Indian Health Services, which will pay for, among other things, rape kits). Nevertheless, what tribal law enforcement can accomplish is limited by the jurisdiction accorded them, and the ability of tribal police to do their job is sometimes complicated because of a lack of certainty over where Indian country ends and U.S. territory begins, particularly in rural locales.

This brings me to the principal point of the NPR story--that Congress is considering a law that would permit tribal police to arrest anyone who commits a crime on Indian land. The Tribal Law and Order Act would also give police departments and sheriff's offices grants for cooperating with tribal police and cross-deputizing officers.

Read an earlier related post about jurisdiction and sexual assaults against American Indian women here. Read my article, "Place Matters: Domestic Violence and Rural Difference" here. The latter includes a section on the particular issues confronting American Indian victims of intimate abuse.