Analyzing the Problem
Domestic violence is physical, sexual, psychological, and economic violence occurring within the family between former or current spouses or partners. People use this pattern of behavior to control or dominate another with whom they have had an intimate or family relationship. Domestic violence is dangerous because it causes health problems, not only physical but also mental. If not intervened, the situation can end in the victim’s death. It is one of the most extreme forms of harassment a woman can experience in her life. The development of appropriate policies is important not only for people’s well-being but also for solving many social problems. The latter includes overcoming the demographic crisis to the democratization and modernization of countries where violence towards women is particularly prevalent.
Very often, women tolerate domestic violence and do not complain about it because they are afraid of being judged by others. Victims of domestic violence usually think they deserve to be treated as such. Many are afraid of the instability they will experience if they leave their abusive husbands. Having children is also a very important factor in why women continue to live with family despots. It is very common for a husband with money and power to threaten that the children will stay with him in the divorce and the wife will never see them again. Women’s financial and emotional dependence and stigma from society are barriers to seeking help. In addition, the current insufficiency of support mechanisms for victims of domestic violence contributes to an increase in the number of crimes. All of these factors oblige the State to take measures to combat the spread of this type of crime in society and provide support to victims and their children.
Setting Goals and Objectives
The policy’s goal is to reduce the commission of violence against women by giving police the authority to access premises and make arrests. Since domestic violence is often a latent crime, introducing an arrest would encourage victims to report such incidents more often, greatly increasing the detection rate of such felonies. If a criminal case is opened, but no preventive measure in the form of arrest is applied, this will not protect the victim, who is left in an even worse situation. Accordingly, other mechanisms were needed, as the policy under discussion provided. In addition, the goal of the project is to reduce the number of repeat offenses. Due to the deterrent factor, an arrest will be more effective than separation or mediation. It is also important that police officers have access to hospital records of injuries and incidents reported by social service agencies or crisis lines. Whether there are differences depending on which demographic or income group a particular family belongs to should be analyzed.
A mandatory arrest policy requires police officers to arrest an offender if their assessment of the situation leads them to suppose that a crime has happened. Under this policy option, the police may not impose an alternative punishment, and the case must be tried without exception. This policy has been executed in many nations, including the Pacific island ones. A methodology for determining the primary subject of a criminal assault and appropriate training modules for police training will help avoid the mistake when making an arrest.
Designing the Policy
The initiative should ensure that all criminal acts of violence against women are recognized as such in the criminal justice system and that appropriate action is taken against them. Law enforcement should use arrest as a deterrent to the commission of acts of domestic violence. To combat the prevalence of this type of crime, interrogation methods and procedures should be developed that do not degrade women’s rights but facilitate the best possible collection of evidence. Law enforcement officers should be empowered to respond promptly to violence against women. In doing so, decisions to arrest the perpetrator must take into account the safety of the victim and others related to her family. These procedures should also help to prevent further acts of violence. Officers must be held accountable for violations of these rules. All of these circumstances must be specified in the draft policy to avoid ineffectiveness and mistreatment of women.
All staff should be trained in how to communicate with victims of violence. Measures should be taken to ensure that the victim understands her role in order to minimize the risks to her. The dynamics of violence and the harm done to the victim must be understood when deciding on appropriate remedies in criminal proceedings involving violence against women. Training in communication with victims of domestic violence among law enforcement officers involved in the arrest will need to be fine-tuned. Information should also be widely disseminated to women who are the target population about the consequences of arresting a domestic violence perpetrator.
Developing an Action Plan
Overall, it is clear that significant financial and informational resources are likely to be required to combat domestic violence. For women who find themselves in danger at home, it is important to know that they are not alone, and that help is near. It will be important to involve psychologists and mediators from family centers who can help resolve family conflicts, including those involving children. Women, if necessary, will need to be given the opportunity to go to a crisis help center free of charge. For victims of migrant domestic violence, the assistance of lawyers who can resolve problems arising from the arrest of the abuser should be made available. Dissemination of information about the possibility of contacting the police in case someone is subjected to domestic violence should be carried out through media channels, billboards, and advertising on social networks.
Addressing this problem would require the allocation of public and private resources. States are urged to protect the safety of victims and witnesses before, during, and after criminal proceedings. In addition to information about participation in the criminal process and its schedule, progress, and final outcome, women who have been subjected to violence should be provided with information about their rights. It should be explained to them what are the ways to get the remedies. The State should encourage and assist women subjected to violence to lodge and participate in formal complaints. It is important to provide for judicial resources, namely mechanisms and procedures which are accessible and sensitive to domestic violence victims’ needs. Law enforcement agencies are obligated to ensure that cases are dealt with fairly and facilitate prompt and fair redress (Mallicoat & Gardiner, 2014). This, in turn, will require training for officers on how the arrest and communication with victims should be conducted.
It is necessary to work closely with the private sector, relevant professional associations, foundations, and non-governmental and civil society organizations. Collaboration with women’s equality organizations and research institutes is also important. The goal of the partnership is to create secure networks of accessible centers and services for emergency assistance and temporary housing for women and their children who are at risk of violence or are victims of violence. The toll-free phone lines for information must function effectively to ensure safety. Professional services and support groups for counseling must be established to help women who are victims of violence. In addition, the development of programs to warn against substance abuse and prevent the abuse of such substances is extremely important. This is critical given that violence against women is linked to alcohol and drug abuse in many cases.
Developing a Plan for Monitoring Policy Implementation
To assess the initiative’s implementation, sex-disaggregated data and information will need to be collected for analysis and use, along with existing data. This information should address the impact of new policies on crime prevention and fair criminal justice (Welsh & Harris, 2015). In particular, it will be necessary to assess what forms of violence against women exist, their causes, and their consequences. The extent to which economic need and exploitation are linked to violence against women will have to be determined. Since the initiative aims to reduce the number of cases of violence, statistics will need to be analyzed once the program is in place. The relationship between drug and alcohol use and domestic violence against women is also to be assessed. In addition, the link between victimization or exposure to violence and subsequent violent acts must be confirmed or refuted through data analysis.
The U.S. has an electronic document management system that is used to register court cases and conduct case management electronically. This system will be necessary to analyze the results of the implementation of the policy being analyzed. In addition, PACER provides online paid public access to electronic case files in the trial and appellate courts. This database operates at the federal court level and will also be necessary for evaluating the impact of the arrest on domestic violence offenders. State-specific data storage and retrieval systems will also be used. Feedback from key stakeholders will be obtained through surveys, interviews, and report requests.
Developing a Plan for Evaluating Outcomes
An arrest is a law enforcement process and must be formally recorded by the police. Accordingly, it first requires law enforcement to promptly note instances in which this intervening measure has been used (Welsh & Harris, 2015). An arrest can serve as a document for other government agencies and the public about the extent of domestic violence. Arrest data needs to be combined with victimization survey data to obtain a more precise view of domestic violence. In any case, arrest data is an essential indicator of household brutality incidents. In order to assess how effective the introduction of such a policy would be, it would be necessary to analyze detention reports. The optimal period for such an assessment would be approximately six months. In addition, victims of violence would also need to be interviewed regularly – every two weeks. They should be asked about the frequency and seriousness of any victimization. It is important to maintain contact with the victims since there is a high probability that the application of this measure could potentially worsen living conditions.
Randomized police experiments are an effective method for determining the effectiveness of an initiative. For example, it is scientifically valid to create a study in which the recidivism rate would be the dependent variable, and one of the independent variables would be the arrest on domestic violence. Again, a six-month period for analysis will be appropriate, but it will be important to ensure that the data biases will not affect the outcomes. It is known that there were irregularities in earlier studies that influenced the results. It is necessary to compare the initiative with other applied measures of influence on criminals, including mediation and separation. Since there are a considerable number of prior research studies that sought to find out the effect of arrest on the incidence of domestic violence, their design can be used in drawing up new analyses.
Reassessment and Review
If the introduction of the arrest of perpetrators of domestic violence does not produce positive results (decrease in the number of incidents and their recidivism), the reasons that caused it should be analyzed. The program should not be terminated instantly, because it may well be possible to adjust the impact of specific factors. However, if the results are positive, the initiative should be recognized as a success. Further expansion of the initiative throughout the country should follow. Other countries may wish to incorporate the idea of the mandatory arrest of perpetrators of domestic violence into their legal system. More resources will be needed to train officers and disseminate information about the measure’s effectiveness in influencing offender behavior. Over time, of course, some components of the seven-step plan will need to change in order to adapt to the new realities. For example, some legal or social changes may make the policy inapplicable.
Communicating the Policy under Analysis among Stakeholder Groups
Policy discussions with key stakeholders should be arranged; it is important to hold meetings aimed at finding compromises to solve the problem of domestic violence. This type of discussion should include evidence that convincingly demonstrates the initiative’s effectiveness. The reports should include experts who have all the necessary information about the goals of the policy and its contents. Information about the initiative should also be made freely available online.
Why is the Policy Critical to a Fair and Just Criminal Justice System?
The lack of norms in the law that would suggest the arrest of perpetrators of domestic violence creates a precedent where victims find themselves in a vulnerable position. Mediation may be of little use if the perpetrator of violence against the woman has a violent temperament or a mental disorder that causes outbursts of aggression. Often the only way to get out of a situation where there is regular domestic violence is to arrest the offender. This is consistent with the principles of justice, which are presumed to be the foundation of the criminal justice system (Reddington & Bonham, 2019). In addition, the mere fact of domestic violence will allow the victim to obtain a protective order, which prohibits the defendant from approaching his victim or making contact for a set period of time. Combating domestic violence is difficult due to the hidden nature of the phenomenon, but the use of legal measures proven to be effective can facilitate this fight.
Mallicoat, S. L. & Gardiner, C.L. (2014). Criminal justice policy. Sage Publications.
Reddington, F. P. & Bonham G. J. (2019). Flawed criminal justice policies: At the intersection of the media, public fear and legislative response. Carolina Academic Press.
Welsh, W. N., & Harris, P.W. (2015). Criminal justice policy & planning: Planned change. Routledge.