DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - DomesticViolenceLoopholesinthe...

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Domestic Violence Loopholes in the   Arizona Legal System The United States has a long history of domestic violence. Nearly six million American women will be battered by their spouses every year (United Way, 1998). Tradition gives men the right to control their family including their wife. Violence is tolerated under these traditional conditions as discipline (Cohen, 1996). Domestic violence is overwhelmingly committed by men ". . to discipline and coerce women" (Cohen, 1996). "Husbands use violence against their wives as a way of coercing them, establishing control, and conveying rules to regulate 'proper' female behavior (Dobash & Dobash, 1977-1978)." This type of abusive behavior often comes from the ideology that women are subordinate to men (Cohen, 1996). This way of thinking was dominant until the feminist movements when women protested for equal rights and got them. It has still been a struggle to get women's issues recognized by law, however. Domestic violence is a serious issue that needs to be thoroughly addressed, especially in border states like Arizona which have a large Mexican immigrant population, often with traditional views. To have an effective legal system which thoroughly addresses domestic violence, abusers must be held accountable by law for their actions and all victims need to be able to receive aid and support from the state. Currently, these requirements for an effective legal system regarding domestic violence are not met in Arizona. Every year there is some 16,000 domestic violence charges filed in the Tucson Police Department and Pima County Sheriff's Office combined (United Way, 1998). The state does have punishment for these abusers. There are many laws is Arizona regarding domestic violence, however there are problems with them. People whose personal lives do not fit the norm often fall through the cracks of the Arizona legal system and others find a way to slip out. In addition there is a lack of funding and sufficient help for victims. These are labeled loopholes in the legal system Loopholes in Laws: One of the major problems of domestic violence in Arizona law lies in the current way domestic violence charges themselves are handled in court.
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Recently, there has been a bill proposed for a "three strikes" law regarding domestic violence in Arizona (Wabnik. 1998). This law would entail an abuser receiving a felony charge, and thus mandatory jail time, upon a fourth conviction of domestic violence within five years. More than 20 states already have similar laws; Arizona has been slow in increasing the penalties for abusers. If the bill is not passed, it is likely that problems will continue on with some men coming before the court 14 to 15 times and not receiving anything stronger than unsupervised probation (Wabnik, 1998). When a woman takes her husband to court for beating her and he is convicted, it should simply be unacceptable that he could walk away with this kind of loose punishment. To
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This note was uploaded on 01/05/2012 for the course 101 melissa jo taught by Professor Acc101 during the Spring '11 term at Aarhus Universitet.

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - DomesticViolenceLoopholesinthe...

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