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NCJ Number: 183321 Find in a Library
Title: Legal System's Response to Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
Journal: Future of Children  Volume:9  Issue:3  Dated:Winter 1999  Pages:67-83
Author(s): Nancy K. D. Lemon
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 17
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article highlights four crucial areas of the law in which the courts have begun to examine the effects on children of domestic assault between adults; these legal areas include child custody and visitation, restraining orders, failure to protect a child from harm, and termination of parental rights.
Abstract: Historically, the legal system has not responded adequately if at all to cases involving domestic violence. However, courts and police agencies have increasingly acknowledged the seriousness of domestic assault and have developed responses to it in the last two decades. Unfortunately, the legal system has been slower to recognize the impact of domestic violence on children. A survey of appellate cases since 1990 reveals an ongoing need for mandatory judicial training on domestic violence and its effects on children, greater clarity about how to interpret relevant laws, changes in the law to serve children more effectively, and the renewal of national funding for legal aid programs. Courts and law enforcement agencies in some locales have implemented innovative programs to improve their interventions with children exposed to domestic assault. These programs include coordinated court responses, child development training for police officers, multidisciplinary team approaches, and supervised visitation centers. However, effectiveness evaluations are generally lacking. Better evaluation and ongoing funding for the replication of successful programs are needed. Photographs and 93 reference notes (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile witnesses
Index Term(s): Appellate court decisions; Child custody; Child protection laws; Child welfare; Children at risk; Children of battered women; Juvenile victims; Neglectful parents; Parental rights; Parental visitation rights; Psychological victimization effects; Restraining orders
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