Fighting domestic violence is never easy, particularly when there is so little that can be done to prevent a crime from happening. While authorities can do their best to limit the damage and ensure the actions do not recur, how do they go about stopping something that has not yet happened? The key to reducing domestic violence crimes is to ensure that offenders know that there are serious consequences for their actions. Instead of labelling domestic violence crimes as “domestic matters,” it is time for them to be treated the same way as any assault or violent attack. Only then will the rate of domestic violence crimes diminish.
In many cases, spouses or partners do not file charges in domestic violence cases. This trend needs to change because it gives abusers the self confidence that their actions have no consequences. Once the police are called and a domestic violence incident is confirmed, charging the offender must be mandatory. Even if a spouse or partner is refusing to press charges, the police must act on their own accord. Once a generation of people begins to realize that any domestic violence incident equals mandatory jail time, they will alter their behavior.
Those who request it should be provided with a security system that allows them to contact the authorities discreetly if a domestic violence crime is taking place, or if they worry that one is imminent. An electronic button can allow a potential victim to alert law enforcement of a domestic violence case. This allows the police to arrive at the home sooner, which ensures that minimum damage occurs.
Communities Must Help
Domestic violence cannot be prevented by the police alone. Everyone needs to join in the effort to help rid the country of this epidemic. When a neighbor hears unusual shouting or commotion near their residence, they should contact the police immediately. When the police arrive, they must be thorough in their examination of the scene. Too many officers respond to a domestic violence complaint and leave the home without making sure everything is okay. They will talk to the husband/boyfriend, who informs them that nothing is wrong, and leave. Police should enter the home, see what is going on, make sure everyone in the house is okay, and then leave.
Provide Victims with Additional Protection
The worst domestic violence cases are those that involve couples who have a history of multiple incidents. A spouse or child is beaten once, and a case is filed, yet they return to the same living environment. Chances are that abuse will take place again. In these instances, the law must do everything possible to provide the victim with additional protection. Not only will this discourage future incidents, but it gives the victim an added sense of security.
Domestic violence will never go away altogether, and it is something that needs to be battled every day. Law enforcement, communities and individual families need to do their part to ensure that people feel safe inside their homes. Changing a culture is never easy, but this is one of the cases where something has to be done as soon as possible.
About the author
Jeremiah Stone is a freelancer who focuses on legal subjects such as Personal Injury, Civil Procedure, Corporate Law, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property and others as well.