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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69084 Find in a Library
Title: SPOUSE ABUSE - A NOVEL REMEDY FOR A HISTORIC PROBLEM
Journal: DICKINSON LAW REVIEW  Volume:84  Issue:1  Dated:(FALL 1979)  Pages:147-170
Author(s): B E SANSON
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 24
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE SPOUSE ABUSE PROBLEM IS DISCUSSED, STATUTORY APPROACHES FOR PROTECTING BATTERED SPOUSES ARE EXAMINED, AND PENNSYLVANIA'S PROTECTION FROM ABUSE ACT IS ANALYZED.
Abstract: THE PROBLEM IS COMPOUNDED BY THE WOMAN'S EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL DEPENDENCY ON THE ABUSER AND BY THE INADEQUACY OF LEGAL REMEDIES. THE SOCIOLOGICAL PHENOMENON OF WIFE ABUSE IS A HISTORIC ONE, REFLECTIVE OF BOTH THE SOCIAL SUBJUGATION OF WOMEN AND OF THE DISPARATE TREATMENT ACCORDED THEM UNDER COMMON LAW. STATUTORY REMEDIES DISPELLING THE EFFECTS OF COMMON LAW HAVE BEEN ENACTED IN MOST STATES TO PROTECT BATTERED SPOUSES. THE THREE TYPES OF STATUTORY SCHEMES INCLUDE EXTRA-JUDICIAL ENACTMENTS, PENAL CODE PROVISIONS, AND CIVIL REMEDIES. NO SCHEME HAS PROVED TOTALLY SUCCESSFUL, BUT IN COMBINATION THE SCHEMES COULD PROVE VIABLE. INSTEAD OF MERELY IMITATING THE STATUTORY REMEDIES ADOPTED BY OTHER STATES, IN 1976 THE PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATURE ENACTED THE PROTECTION FROM ABUSE ACT. IN 1978 AMENDMENTS BROADENED THE SCOPE OF THE LEGISLATION. WITHOUT ELIMINATING CRIMINAL SANCTIONS, THE ACT AFFORDS A BATTERED PERSON THREE BASIC FORMS OF CIVIL RELIEF WHICH ASSUAGE THE EFFECTS OF PENNSYLVANIA'S ADHERENCE TO THE DOCTRINE OF INTERSPOUSAL IMMUNITY. THE ACT IS CHARACTERIZED BY EXPANSIVE COVERAGE, RANGING FROM GRANDPARENTS TO UNMARRIED COUPLES LIVING TOGETHER. IT OBVIATES SEX-BASED DISCRIMINATION, PROVIDES AN EVICTION ORDER AS A FORM OF RELIEF, AND SPECIFIES THAT THE VICTIM'S RIGHT TO RELIEF IS NOT AFFECTED BY LEAVING THE HOUSEHOLD. ALTHOUGH THE AMENDED CONTEMPT PROVISION DEFINED AND EXPANDED THE ROLE OF POLICE ENFORCEMENT, OTHER SECTIONS OF THE ACT LACK COMPARABLE PROCEDURAL ELABORATION AND REQUIRE ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION. THROUGH PROPER ENFORCEMENT OF CRIMINAL CONTEMPT SANCTIONS, CONDITIONING BAIL, AND REQUIRING POLICE TO INFORM ABUSED PERSONS OF THEIR RIGHTS, THIS STATUTORY COMBINATION WOULD PROVIDE A VIABLE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Abusing spouses; Battered wives; Domestic assault; Family offenses; Laws and Statutes; Pennsylvania
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69084

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