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SOC 201 (15)
Chapter 12

Chapter 12: Resources for Victims in the Criminal and Civil Justice System

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 201
Professor
Barry Mc Clinchey
Semester
Fall

Description
CHAPTER 12: Resources for Victims in the Criminal and Civil Justice System WHAT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM CAN OFFER THE VICTIM - Not much, because CJS primarily deals with the accused - Although key witness, and essential in many cases, victims are treated as secondary - Intimate partner violence (IPV): violence between individuals who are living in, or who have lived in, an intimate relationship - Domestic violence: all violence that occurs within the home, most often between family members o Includes IPV, child abuse, elder abuse, violence between siblings, etc - Reports of physical assault, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, economic deprivation, verbal degradation, and ongoing emotional abuse - Intimate terrorism: process where physical/sexual violence are some of the many tactics used with the explicit desire to control one’s partner, often completely SPECIAL CASE: INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE - Women being treated equally under the law, but lacked the physical attributes and social opportunities - Women were more likely to be victimized by their intimate partner, while men by strangers - Unique dynamics of IPV lead to the initiatives and programs that help women in this situation Responses for Victims of Intimate Partner Violence - Choice in not reporting to the police – fear of retribution/further violence, promises from abuser that they’ll stop, fear of economic hardship, disturbance of family unit - Violence stops when it no long becomes feasible – abuser stops b/c no longer desirable (rare) or because legal action involved; victim successful leaves; victim dies from injuries OPTIONS FOR VICTIMS OF INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE WITHIN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM - Legitimate options: where option does not harm victim - Illegitimate options: may hurt those who have called for help Option One: The Victim Can Ignore the Situation - Violence stays between the victim and victimizer with no outside influences - Illegitimate option – enables victimizer to continue the abuse Option Two: The Victim can handle the Violence Informally - Acknowledging the violence, but seeking to resolve the situation through informal methods - Victim threating to tell police/other family members/leaving abuser Option Three: the police are called but choose to ignore the situation - CJS is called into action - Illegitimate option – response by the police allows the risk of violence against victim to continue Option Four: the police are called and choose to counsel the participants - Offering participants specific information – therapy/guidance help Option Five: the police are called and choose to send one party away - Sending the abuser away for a period of time, typically between 12 to 24 hours - Can detain abuser for 24 hours - Encouraging victim to find another place to stay “for a little while” Option Six: Arrest - Mandatory arrest policy: requires officers to arrest offenders of this crime - Gives victim time to decide on leaving the situation - Victim faces challenges – finding shelter is limited, can require travelling substantially, even with children - Victim can also pursue formal punishment through pressing charges - Dual arrest policy (used in USA): officers arrest both parties in a dispute o i.e. applies to two men fighting at a bar too o Illegitimate option – victim is punished for calling help Option Seven: Restraining Orders (ROs), Peace Bonds, and Terms of Release - RO: initiated after arrest and prolongs separation between a victim and his/her offender o Used when there is increased risk for further violence - “ex parte order” – when victim feels immediately threatened, this is issued without the presence of the accused abuser and if judge agrees that the concern for safety is reasonable - Peace bonds: provision of the CC, breaking this was a criminal code offence o Keeping the peace by meeting requirements of the bond until time it expires o Can also ask for financial assurance - Mutual peace bonds: both the victim and the offender are prohibited from contacting each other  victim may provoke victimizer, by p
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