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Domestic Violence Legislative Action

Domestic Violence Legislative Action

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Published by Brenda Anderson

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Published by: Brenda Anderson on Feb 12, 2014
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Domestic Violence Legislative Action Name Class Date Professor

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Domestic Violence Legislative Action Domestic violence is the abuse of one partner by another partner in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence occurs to women in most cases bur the women can be from any socioeconomic background. Traditionally domestic violence was considered a family matter and the police rarely intervened. While they may respond to the scene of a domestic violence situation they would either instruct the abuser to quit their behavior or request they leave the home until they cooled down. Beating your wife or intimate partner was never cause for arrest despite the fact assault was illegal. Domestic abuse is a serious problem in the United States and across the globe. Based on research conducted by the Family Violence Prevention Fund found over 30 percent of citizens have witnessed domestic abuse and this type o abuse is the leading cause of death for women. Four million people are abused every year and according to the FBI a woman in America is abused every nine seconds (LCB, 2012). Domestic abuse becomes a cycle in family when children learn the behavior by observing the behavior in their home environment. Four women die every day due to domestic abuse and 95% of the victims of domestic abuse are women. Since police would do nothing to intervene and assist the victim of domestic abuse it required a federal legislative response to ensure police would arrest the criminal offender responsible for physically or sexually assaulting their domestic partner. Despite the development of the women’s movement in the 1970’s and the support of special interests groups it was not until the 1990’s before any comprehensive federal law was created to assist the victims of domestic violence. Until the 1990’s the domestic abuse victim was helpless to stop the domestic abuse and the only option was to stay or go into hiding.

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The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 made domestic abuse illegal and created mandatory arrest requirements for domestic abusers. The law also increased the penalties under the Gun Control act for the abuser using a weapon. Under VAWA the community response for domestic abuse would be support and funded by federal grants. States would be required to develop domestic abuse laws and the public would be educated on the signs of domestic abuse. Each state developed domestic abuse laws based on VAWA but each has different requirements. Under Nevada law domestic violence is defined as an act of violence against a spouse, family member, or other person who has a close relationship with the perpetrator (Bennett, 2002). In the state of Nevada domestic abuse has been illegal since 1989 when laws began to emerge forbidding men to abuse their wives. Under Nevada law a person determined to have committed an act of domestic violence will be under a mandatory arrest policy. In Nevada domestic abuse does not only include the domestic partner but also includes children, dating relationships, spouses, and a blood relative. In the 1991 and 1993 sessions legislation emerged further assisting the domestic abuse victim in Nevada. In these sessions the state of Nevada established the first laws forbidding physical abuse by the husband of the spouse and in 1993 established the abuse victim’s right to obtain a protection order. NRS allows for Orders for Protection against Domestic Violence and established the right to get an emergency order via telephone if the situation is urgent. In many other states the victim must wait till the court is open and set a date to request a protection order. This is after hiring a costly lawyer. In Nevada the domestic abuse victim does not have to wait for the appointed court date and can instead seek out assistance through a domestic abuse shelter where a representative can request the emergency and temporary

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restraining order through the appropriate channels. Once a hearing is held the domestic abuse victim can receive an extended restraining order that can last up to a year. When the abuser violates the restraining order, however, they are on subject to a misdemeanor. This does not deter the abuser form seeking out their victim and causing more harms or damage. In Nevada if charged with domestic abuse the first time offender found guilty of the charge will receive a misdemeanor charge with up to 1,000 dollar fine as long as no weapon is involved. If the abuser then receives a second charge of domestic abuse they will be charged with a felony and receive up to six months in jail and a $5,000 dollar fine. The third offense is a felony resulting in a $10,000 dollar fine and up to one year in jail (Bennett, 2002). For each act of domestic abuse the abuser will receive a higher fine and more criminal penalties. If the abuser commit a fourth act the judge can imprison him for up to five years and impose up to a $15,000 dollar fine. When a domestic abuse call is received by police in Nevada they can no longer go to the scene and tell the abuser to cool off. In order to stop this behavior by police the Nevada legislatures developed a mandatory arrest law requiring police to arrest the abuser if there are any signs the victim has been physically harmed. The goal was to stop police from ignoring the plight of the domestic abuse victim and arrest the domestic abuse offender. Under Nevada law the domestic abuse shelter and other community programs are eligible for funding from the state and will receive support from the criminal justice system. Domestic abuse is a major problem in America despite federal and state responses. Domestic abuse victims call police who know respond and arrest the offender but they do not receive but a slap on the wrist and return home within hours even madder. In order for the domestic abuse

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victim to be truly protected laws must be prepared with more sever consequences and a denial of bail. The victim needs time to make a plan to get away from their abuser.

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References Bennett, D. (2002). Domestic Violence. Retrieved September 2, 2013 from https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Division/Research/Publications/Bkground/BP95-02.pdf Legislative Council Bureau. (2012). Justice System: Focus on Domestic Violence. Retrieved September 2, 2013 from http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Division/Research/Publications/PandPReport/33-DV.pdf

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