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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74091 Find in a Library
Title: Domestic Violence Continuum - A Pressing Need for Legal Intervention
Journal: Women Lawyers Journal  Volume:66  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1980)  Pages:11-17
Author(s): F G Bolton
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines domestic violence in the context of its etiology and effects and focuses on the necessity and role of legal intervention.
Abstract: The domestic violence problem is, by definition, a cyclical phenomenon which must be interrupted through adequate legal intervention at each point in the process. Legal definitions within the family violence area are cloudy and elusive. The strong emphasis upon the sanctity of the home has served as a barrier to the exercise of reasonable legal intervention. As a result, many victims of domestic violence are denied due process and face difficulty gaining court services and legal representation. While the intent of the law has been to protect the rights of those victimized within families, the practice of the law has been to abdicate their discretionary powers to other social, law enforcement, and mental health agencies. The legal profession must become more active in the domestic violence prevention and rehabilitation effort; it is time to reduce the reliance upon mental health and local law enforcement agencies. Moreover, the discretion exercised by local law enforcement agencies must be examined. The legal profession must also recognize the sameness of all violence and create definitions for all violence that will aid the court in the conduct of its role. Finally, the victims of domestic violence -- child, adult, and the elderly -- must be represented. Representation includes a right to be heard in a court where the indivisibility of victim rights and family rights is not always assumed. Twenty-eight references are listed.
Index Term(s): Attorney client relations; Battered wives; Child abuse; Domestic assault; Elder Abuse; Right to counsel
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