Legislative Issues

Increasing awareness of the extent and severity of violence against women in the United States led to the passage of the federal Violence Against Women Act in 1994. This act made orders of protection enforceable, recommended mandatory arrest laws, and granted federal money for battered women's shelters and legal services. It also allowed battered women who were not legal residents to petition for immigration privileges without the help of their abusive spouse. Twenty-nine states recognize domestic violence as a factor in custody disputes, and "battered women's defense" is legally recognized under federal and state law. Mandatory arrest policies have become central to most states' strategies to protect women, punish offenders, deter future violence and convey the new social norm that battering is wrong (Sontag). Perhaps in partial response, the number of violent victimizations of women by an intimate partner declined from 1993 to 1996, from 1.1 million reported incidents to 840,000 incidents (Greenfield et al.).

Yet some people are beginning to question the effectiveness of mandatory arrest policies because they undermine women's right to self-determination, their complicity in the violence, and their ability to negotiate safety for themselves and their children without police intervention (Mills). Is a male-dominated and racially biased judicial system revictimizing women by forcing them to share intimate and often shameful accounts of their lives in front of court authorities and to subject the men they still love to a legal system whose racial and economic fairness they question? Mandatory arrest policies also disproportionately affect low-income batterers, perhaps because more affluent batterers and victims have more access to private lawyers, doctors, escape places, and treatment options before the police are called. In their 1997 report, Preventing Crime, Lawrence W. Sherman and colleagues found a correlation between men's social status and increased violence: Arrests seem to deter employed men but make unemployed men more violent. Advocates for battered women counter that though the laws are imperfect they are at present the best way to protect battered women and ensure that domestic violence is treated as the crime that it is.

Beat The Battle With The Bottle

Beat The Battle With The Bottle

Alcoholism is something that can't be formed in easy terms. Alcoholism as a whole refers to the circumstance whereby there's an obsession in man to keep ingesting beverages with alcohol content which is injurious to health. The circumstance of alcoholism doesn't let the person addicted have any command over ingestion despite being cognizant of the damaging consequences ensuing from it.

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