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NCJ Number: 220305 Find in a Library
Title: Improving the Civil-Criminal Interface for Victims of Domestic Violence
Journal: The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:46  Issue:4  Dated:September 2007  Pages:356-371
Author(s): Amanda L. Robinson
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This exploratory study examined the interface between the civil and criminal courts in domestic-violence cases in Cardiff, England, using information from domestic-violence victims, victim advocates, and attorneys.
Abstract: There was evidence that civil remedies, such as protection orders designed to keep domestic-violence perpetrators away from their victims, did help victims to feel safer and deter revictimization; however, without the power and response of arrest for violations of these civil orders, they were viewed as ineffective. The feasibility of having a victim and perpetrator continue to occupy the same housing was questioned by the respondents in this study. The study also found that because legal aid for civil action is not available while a criminal case is underway, economically disadvantaged victims are more vulnerable to revictimization and may become involved in a longer legal ordeal compared with affluent victims. It would help if all civil injunctions related to domestic-violence allegations were cost-free. Access to civil justice should depend on a person's need for protection rather than their income level. The majority of respondents favored a combined civil/criminal court for domestic-violence cases, which would prevent the time-consuming duplication required in having two court jurisdictions hear the same or similar facts. Such a court would also facilitate interagency cooperation in serving domestic-violence victims. This study relied on data obtained from interviews and open-ended surveys that involved nine victims of domestic violence; three women’s safety unit (WSU) staff who supported victims with civil/criminal cases; and five local attorneys who participated in the WSU program. 15 notes and 20 references
Main Term(s): Victim services
Index Term(s): Case processing; Civil remedies; Domestic assault; Domestic assault prevention; England; Foreign courts; Foreign crime prevention; Foreign legal aid services; Restraining orders
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