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Wife Beating

Domestic violence arrests have skyrocketed in the past decade, making this crime the leading violent felony arrest locally and nation-wide and placing it at the top of law enforcement’s priority list (Guido). Battering women occurs at all levels of society (Barstow). However, a large number of convicted batterers are from poor income areas. Too often a hidden crime, domestic violence has been splashed across front pages from Los Angeles to Toronto over the past year.

Battering is seen as a basic means of intimidation(Jenkins). The violence is inflicted to maintain power and control. Domestic violence now represents the leading cause of injury for women between the ages of 15-44. The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that every fifteen seconds, a women is beaten by her husband. The abuse escalates over time and it gets harder for the woman to get away from the situation.

Despite a dramatic change in attitudes toward domestic violence and a sustained crackdown by authorities, a Mercury News investigation shows that many batterers spend little time in jail and are shuffled through a criminal justice system that lacks the resources to keep victims safe(Giudo @ Rafferty). Batterers that are convicted are not always put in jail and usual violate their restraining orders.

Just recently laws have changed stating that police must arrest men suspected of domestic violence, even if the women denies the event occurred. On the contrary, there is a common pattern in spouse-abuse cases involving violent actions in the course of a domestic arguement, perhaps leading to police intervention. The man is arrested but later after things calm down, the women will refuse to press charges. This leads police to loath the laws and not want to intervene in domestic matters.

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