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NCJ Number: 157469 Find in a Library
Title: Responding to Domestic Violence Against Women
Journal: Crime and Delinquency  Volume:41  Issue:4  Dated:special issue (October 1995)  Pages:387-398
Author(s): L J Stalans; A J Lurigio
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 12
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This overview of domestic violence discusses two perspectives on domestic violence, the historical response to domestic violence, changes within the legal system to handle domestic violence, and changes within the community to handle domestic violence.
Abstract: Two theoretical perspectives that have dominated domestic violence research are the family violence perspective and the feminist perspective. For the family violence perspective, the unit of analysis is the family, and it holds that women and men are equally likely to engage in violence, as evidenced by survey data that show women and men report similar incidences of physical violence against their partners. For the feminist perspective, the unit of analysis is the relationship between men and women; it encompasses all forms of violence against women, from sexual harassment in the workplace to physical, verbal, and sexual abuse in the home. Both perspectives urge the legal system to focus on violence against women, but they do so for different reasons, which leads to different solutions to the problem. History supports the feminists' position that laws and community norms perpetuate violence against women. During the last two decades, the legal system has faced inside and outside pressure to protect women from violence. Preferred arrest policies have resulted in significantly more arrests in domestic violence cases when they are part of a coordinated response that involves the legal system and community agencies. Prosecutors have changed their procedures so that they now sign complaints against defendants, and victims serve as key witnesses. Prosecutors have also adopted policies to prevent victims from dropping charges. A variety of community services and treatment programs assist victims of domestic violence and treat domestic violence offenders. 22 references
Main Term(s): Female victims
Index Term(s): Crime specific law reform; Domestic assault; Domestic violence causes
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