(SACRAMENTO) – Yesterday, legislation authored by Assemblymember Timothy S. Grayson (D-Concord) to help victims of domestic violence and human trafficking was signed into law by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
“As a co-founder of the Central County Family Justice Center, I have been able to witness firsthand how vital the Multidisciplinary Team model is in assisting individuals and families struggling with interpersonal violence,” said Assemblymember Grayson. “We need to be doing all that we can to fight domestic violence and human trafficking, and AB 998 helps us in this fight by allowing counties to leverage resources and work collaboratively to effectively seek justice for victims of some of the most painful and heinous crimes.”
AB 998 will expand the proven Multidisciplinary Team, or MDT, model of violence treatment and prevention to include situations of human trafficking and domestic violence. The bill allows members of these MDTs, specifically victim support specialists and law enforcement, to share, only with one another, information and records that may be confidential but are relevant to serving the victim’s interest.
“In our experience in Contra Costa County, the Multidisciplinary Team model has been an essential tool for connecting survivors with needed care,” said Susun Kim, Executive Director of the Contra Costa Family Justice Center. “MDTs benefit victims because they are connected to multiple service providers during the meeting. We problem-solve with our partners and come up with solutions on the spot.”
Existing law allows Family Justice Center (FJC) personnel to implement the MDT model in service of victims of some of the most heinous crimes; however, there are 58 counties in California and only 21 established FJCs. AB 998 will ensure that victims of domestic violence and human trafficking receive the help they need regardless of where they live.
Tim Grayson represents the 14th Assembly District that includes the communities of Benicia, Concord, Clayton, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Vallejo, Pittsburg and Walnut Creek. For more information please visit the Assemblymember’s website, www.assembly.ca.gov/a14.