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Canada (510,219)
Sociology (4,081)
SOC219H5 (123)


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Nicole Myers

Prosecution Domestic Violence Concerns: effects of reoffending, fair treatment Worthy of full prosecution? – vs. alternative measures How should police respond – matter of stopping violence, separating partners (for the night), matter of referring victim or abuser to different types of counseling – police also play counseling role, and finally arresting the offender. Previously domestic violence was known as a private matter that should not be interfered with, now there is a mandatory for someone to be charged if there is domestic violence without consent of the victim Studies: victims call the police just to get the offender to stop, see the consequences, didn’t want full arrest – related to the severity of offence/ financial situation/ number of previous offences. Ontario Study – women hadn’t even thought that their partner would be arrested and just wanted immediate protection. When they wanted him charged (only over night) just wanted to create space. Problems: cost, support the victim may receive, fear of retaliation – inflame the violence & escalade. Experiences: pretty good at predicting re-offence. Protective element in reporting to police US Survey – followed women over 3 years every 6 months – results – repeat victimization rate higher if not reported to the police. Depending on whether first time or subsequent offence. 5% repeated if reported & 10% if not reported to police. Doesn’t matter who reports it – has a protective elements only from reporting the offence to the police. 1995 Study – charged one group vs. warned another group – wasn’t a lower rate of recidivism when charged – Conclusion: type of intervention not that crucial – what is, is that some type of intervention has occurred. What do we do about the role of the victim and the evidence they provide for proceeding with the charge – what do you do if they refuse to testify? Therefore, should we have mandatory policy? – Positives vs. Negatives. Protection with decision making because there is a rule you have to follow. Equal treatment? – want everyone to be treated with similar fashion – but what happens when we do this – are there repercussions with that – what are the true wished of the victim – can they be truthful – can they express their fear – stressful time – should this type of responsibility be put on the victim. How about non – spousal violence – two friends that get into fist fight – should same rules hold true if there is a mandatory policy in spousal assault. Ex. Francis Fox - women was able to secure a legal abortion – admission to hospital fox signs as husband – which is forgery - Was told there wont be any charges against Fox – because only had come to light because of publicity - Prosecution is not automatic o Enough evidence to lay charges – but figured out would be difficult to lay charges/ wouldn’t have much effect/ consequences already had been suffered by Fox/ women would also have to be charged/ not in public interest – not worth it - Brings up questions of who should be charged, does seriousness of offence way into situation, the role of the victim, history of the offender, should we examine impact on future offending. What role does public interest have/ who decides this. Criminal Code – Alternative Measures Offender must admit guilt in order to quality for alternative measures. If maintain innocence must go through formal process. Offender must agree to terms of program. Prevent criminal record – still state intervention so is technically on record and can be called back on if re-offend. YCJA – extra judicial sanction Ontario “Direct Accountability” Indicated that eligibility of these programs do vary by community. Only particular types of offences can be diverted – generally violent crime not available for those in domestic situations. Restorative Justice – (Form of diversion) Conference – bringing offender/ victim/ me
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