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NCJ Number: 127389 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Issues in Violence Toward Adults (From Case Studies in Family Violence, P 73-85, 1991, Robert T. Ammerman and Michel Hersen, eds. -- See NCJ-127384)
Author(s): L G Lerman; N R Cahn
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Effective intervention in family violence requires a coordinated response of law enforcement and the mental health system.
Abstract: Civil remedies available to domestic violence victims, particularly abused women, include protection orders and mediation. There are two ways in which a criminal action against an abuser can be initiated. First, the police can make an arrest after being called for assistance. Second, the victim can go to a prosecutor's office or court intake unit to file a criminal complaint. In over half the States, new laws allow police officers to make arrests without warrants in domestic violence cases, even if no weapons are used and there are no serious injuries. Filing a criminal charge does not necessarily mean there will be a trial. The charge may be disposed of through an agreement between the prosecutor and the abuser or by plea bargaining. Mental health professionals have a critical role to play in the legal system. They can help victims understand their options and assist them in taking legal action to stop the violence. Mental health professionals must elicit information from their patients about family violence and inform abuse victims of the civil and criminal remedies available. Cooperation between the mental health and legal systems will be effective only if both systems have the same goals. 15 references
Main Term(s): Domestic assault prevention
Index Term(s): Abused women; Civil remedies; Female victims; Mental health services; Victims of violent crime
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