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February 29, 2012

The Criminalization of Domestic Violence: Promises and Limits

During the past 30 years, the criminalization of domestic violence has developed along three parallel but generally separate tracks: criminal punishment and deterrence of batterers, batterer treatment, and restraining orders designed to protect victims through the threat of civil or criminal legal sanctions.  Each of these policy tracks has been informed, advanced, and supported by advocacy groups for battered women.  Victim advocacy groups have worked vigorously for legislative and policy change, monitored and corrected the implementation of law and policy, and intensively supported expanded resources for victim services.  Several jurisdictions have attempted to integrate these policies in system wide approaches within the justice system.

The Consequences of Social and Family Dysfunction: A Perspective from New Zealand

Members of dysfunctional families have always been of interest to Welfare and Psychiatry. What is becoming apparent is that many of their issues are social problems that create burdens on the taxpayer, benefit dependency, and much ill health in the face of health fund cuts. Health cuts now ensure that only clearly diagnosed people and substance abusers are treated or hospitalized. The social problems now have to be worked out with people who are not interested, and often not knowledgeable about the issues. One way to address social and family dysfunction is through education - self-education for survivors and also for the professional people who assist survivors.

The Abuse of Animals and Domestic Violence: A National Survey of Shelters for Women Who Are Battered

The maltreatment of animals, usually pets, may occur in homes where there is domestic violence yet we have limited information about the prevalence of such maltreatment. We surveyed the largest shelter for women who are battered in forty-nine states and the District of Columbia. Shelters were selected if they provided overnight facilities and programs or services for children. Ninety-six percent of the shelters responded and analysis revealed that it is common for shelters to serve women and children who talk about pet abuse. However, only a minority of respondents indicated that they systematically ask about pet maltreatment in their intake interview. We discuss the implications of these results for domestic violence programs, animal welfare organizations, and programs serving children of women who are battered by their partners.

Order of Protection Registry and Domestic Violence System (DVS) – NY

Copies of the tables referenced in this report are available by calling OPDV at (518) 457-5800.
The Registry, which became operational in October 1995, is required by the DVIA to accept and maintain active orders of protection issued pursuant to articles four, five, six and eight of the Family Court Act, Section 530.12 of the Criminal Procedure Law, sections 240 and 252 of the Domestic Relations Law and all arrest warrants issued pursuant to section 827 of the Family Court Act and article 120 of the Criminal Procedure Law. Chapter 511 of the Laws of 1996 clarified that family offenses (for purposes of issuance of criminal orders of protection plus entry of such orders onto DVS) include any crime or violation between spouses, former spouses, parent and children, or members of the same family or household. This even includes crimes for which the Family Court would not be exercising concurrent jurisdiction. For example, a wife was sexually assaulted by her estranged husband and received an order of protection. While not a family offense, it made sense to include an order prompted by such an offense on the Registry for the information of police and courts. Orders of protection issued in domestic incidents that do not involve "statutory" family or household members, such as a live-in couple with no children in common, are currently not required to be carried by the Registry. Nevertheless, such cases often fall under the broader definition of family or household in the domestic violence policies established by a substantial number of police agencies.