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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99514 Find in a Library
Title: Battered Women and the Criminal Justice System (From Changing Roles of Women in the Criminal Justice System - Offenders, Victims, and Professionals, P 180-196, 1985, Imogene L Moyer, ed. - See NCJ-99505)
Author(s): A Kuhl; L E Saltzman
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Waveland Press, Inc.
Long Grove, IL 60047
Sale Source: Waveland Press, Inc.
4180 IL Route 83
Suite 101
Long Grove, IL 60047
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Battered women are discussed from the standpoint of their views of their experiences, the response of the criminal justice system to wife abuse, and additional needed changes in that response.
Abstract: The literature on battering dates from the 1970's, although no evidence exists to indicate that wife abuse is either new or increasing. Battered women vary in their tendency to seek help or intervention, generally in relation to the severity of the battering. Although the laws now permit women to press charges against their husbands, nonintervention has been the dominant response of the police. Police training has focused largely on mediation or referral rather than arrest. Prosecutorial attitudes toward domestic violence have reinforced these police practices. Similarly, judges often treat spouse abuse as a private matter. However, criminal remedies are needed, because civil remedies have been ineffective. Failure to arrest perpetrators is a signal that no crime has occurred. In recent years, some policy shifts have occurred. The International Association of Chiefs of Police once considered family disputes to be private matters, but now regards domestic violence as a matter for arrest. A project to test the effects of such a policy is now under way in Duluth, Minn. To reduce existing abuse and prevent future abuse, the criminal justice system needs to change its attitudes and treat spouse abuse as a crime. Efforts to increase public awareness of the problem and to define physical force as unacceptable in the marital relationship are also needed. Notes and 30 references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Abused women; Criminal justice system reform; Police attitudes; Police crisis intervention
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