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NCJ Number: 157477 Find in a Library
Title: Response to the Victims of Domestic Violence: Analysis and Implications of the British Experience
Journal: Crime and Delinquency  Volume:41  Issue:4  Dated:special issue (October 1995)  Pages:527-540
Author(s): D C Dwyer
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article compares the problem of and responses to domestic violence in Great Britain with those of the United States.
Abstract: Two characteristics of British society set it apart from the United States; it has a stronger feminist movement and a lower level of stranger-to-stranger crime. This study examines whether these factors may contribute to a lower rate of domestic violence and a strong response from the criminal justice system. In assessing the extent of domestic violence in Great Britain, the author reviewed studies with predictable methodological difficulties. Although these difficulties were considerable, the preponderance of evidence supports the conclusion that domestic violence is a significant social problem in Great Britain. Its magnitude is at least as great as that in the United States (Andrews 1987, Malik 1988, Smith 1989, Tuck 1992). In addition, although incidents of domestic violence do not come to public attention in all cases, when they do, they are "often trivialized, if not ignored" (Smith 1989). At least explicitly British law no longer sanctions wife beating; however, treating domestic violence as a form of assault poses certain obstacles. In the absence of specific legislation that outlaws domestic- violence offenses, prosecution efforts may be hampered by rules of evidence that ignore the private nature of such offenses. The findings suggest that a strong feminist movement and a relatively low rate of stranger-to-stranger violence do not translate into a lower rate of domestic violence. The author concludes that domestic violence has a gender-based characteristic that resists feminist views and factors that may prevent stranger-to-stranger violence. 33 references
Main Term(s): Female victims
Index Term(s): Crime in foreign countries; Domestic assault; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Police policies and procedures
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