Meghan Phillips 00601555
CJS 111 Crime and Justice in America
April 02, 2014
Although Domestic Violence has been included in many notable legislative provisions during the 21st Century, legal strategies against Domestic Violence only reinforce an off balance system of individual state policy and actual reduction of Domestic Violence Offenses. When people ask, “why do women stay in violent situations?”, they are placing blame on the victim. As a society, we must confront this attitude and place responsibility where it belongs — with the offenders.
Background and History of Domestic Violence
Annually, there are millions of adults and children who have become affected by domestic violence in the United States. Naturally Domestic Violence manifests from conflicts that occur between two people of familial relationship, such as husband and wife. Domestic Violence is to be defined as any physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats which have intent to negatively impact another person. This definition also includes any type of behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, isolate, threaten, blame, hurt, or injure someone else. Abusive behavior is often maintained through willful intimidation and controlling factors involving another’s wellbeing. Power over finances and verbal attacks are other forms of Domestic Violence. By this means it is clear that acts of “violence against women, particularly intimate partner violence, should be classified as a major public health and criminal justice concern in the United States.” 1 Whereas each state shall have policy that uphold purposes to reduce acts of Domestic Violence in the United States.
Past policy on Domestic Violence Offenses
With reference to past events regarding policy on Domestic Violence Offenses, law enforcement has been known to exercise an adverse disposition when it came to interventions with reports of Domestic Violence. Prior to the 1980’s, law enforcement would offer verbal counsel to the parties during a domestic dispute. This policing technique, conflict resolution, was structured around the notion that policing would remain out of the marital relationship, as a marriage constituted a relationship where others had no business interfering with. Police officers exercised the authority of making arrests only in cases where extreme violence was evident. Historically, the insufficient involvement of law enforcement in Domestic Violence cases rendered limited the protection granted to those who were abused. During the 1980’s, advocacy groups’ increased public awareness enough to influence public policy, regarding Domestic Violence. The increased awareness pertained to the limited protections given to the abused by law enforcement highlighting the fact that law enforcement tended to blame the abused for the abuse or re-victimized the abused by its harsh interviewing procedure, due to the lack of policies involving Domestic Violence and law enforcement. In short, created political pressure and heightened awareness commenced a change in policy.
Present policy on Domestic Violence Offenses
Police have made many changes in policy regarding Domestic Violence Offenses. Present policy leads with an adoption of an approach which is seen to be assertive against offenders and proactive for victim of abuse. Recognizing the risk of utilizing a more “hands off approach”, law enforcement made policy changes that allow an arrest to be made for offenders in the event that an assault was detected. The change is proactive rather than waiting for the abused victim to make another complaint when violence is excessive. Referrals to Women’s Safety Centers have become routine, as to ensure the immediate safety of the abused victim.
History of Domestic Violence Crimes and Types of Interventions
The history of Domestic Violence has been viewed naturally, as