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This sample research paper on domestic violence features: 7200+ words (26 pages), an outline, APA format in-text citations, and a bibliography with 31 sources.

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The court system has seen a large influx of domestic violence cases since the implementation of mandatory arrest laws for offenders. Unfortunately, there is little conclusive research as to how these cases fared within the legal system (Henning & Feder, 2005). Advocates and the legal system began to grapple with an emerging need for across-the-board legal processes that could successfully resolve the social, human, and legal dilemmas pertaining to domestic violence cases. As a result, domestic violence cases are now commonly viewed as a distinctive legal phenomenon that should be handled similarly to drug or mental health cases that are handled in specialized drug courts or mental health courts (Mazur & Aldrich, 2003).

Domestic Violence Essay Sample - JetWriters

The criminal justice system has made substantial improvements and changes pertaining to domestic violence offenses over the past 15 years. According to Miller (2004), some of the more noteworthy changes include the adoption of anti-stalking laws in every state, the repeal or limitation of states’ spousal exemption laws in rape cases, and the passage of new domestic violence laws that provide unique penalties in family-related assault cases. In addition, every U.S. state now allows law enforcement personnel to make an arrest without a warrant for domestic violence cases, and penalties that offenders’ have to pay have been increased for violations of protective orders. In many states, reduced court fees and protection for nonmarried couples have made court protection more accessible. While each of these changes is a step in the right direction, domestic violence legislation remains inconsistent across the nation. Significant variations exist from state to state in the degree to which new laws have been adopted and in prosecution rates for offenders.

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It is important to reiterate that there are benefits to mandatory arrest. For example, a mandatory arrest policy takes the decision out of the hands of the victims, and therefore the batterer should not hold the victim responsible for his or her prosecution. In addition, mandatory arrest policies send a punitive message to batterers and to the community that the criminal justice system responds to the crime of domestic violence in a harsh manner and holds offenders accountable. However, the unintended consequences of mandatory arrest must also be weighed when determining the best policy approach to this crime.

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Mandatory arrest policies may have caused unintended consequences for victims of lower socioeconomic class as well. For example, victims with limited resources may look to law enforcement as their best option to keep them safe. However, mandatory arrest policies increase the chances that the primary provider will be taken from the home, resulting in a loss of income. As a result, these victims may become less likely to call the police (S. Miller, 1989).

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In addition, various forms of racial bias have come to light as a result of increased arrest for domestic violence. For example, Maxwell, Garner, and Fagan’s (2001) reanalysis of the MDVE replication studies cites official arrest data showing that men of color are more likely to recidivate. On the other hand, victim interviews have shown that white men were more likely to batter again (Chesney-Lind, 2002). It is theorized that the disparity stems from a stronger likelihood for police to arrest suspects of color, as it has been shown that African American women are more likely to alert authorities when domestic violence has occurred. Accordingly, official data may reflect a disproportionate number of men of color as domestic violence offenders, which promotes racial stereotypes and leads to the overpolicing of people of color (Chesney-Lind, 2002).

Domestic Violence (Argumentative Essay Sample)

Victims of domestic violence have long endured a culture of ignorance on the subject of domestic violence. Thus, it is no surprise that until the late 1970s, a wife was not able to file a protection order against her husband unless she also filed for divorce. Even so, restraining orders offered little in the way of protection by law enforcement or the criminal justice system; they were rarely monitored or enforced. The problem of domestic violence was largely viewed as a dilemma best addressed through counseling or crisis intervention programs rather than through the legal system. Yet, as the domestic violence movement worked to increase public awareness on the subject, it began to receive more attention from the legal system. Finally, domestic violence gradually came to be seen more seriously as a crime that is more appropriately addressed through the courts instead of family counseling sessions. However, even though awareness improved, negative stereotypes persisted as an impediment to prosecution. Offenders were rarely sentenced, and courts continued to turn toward family crisis intervention programs instead of taking punitive measures (Fagan, 1996).