It's Complicated: Privacy and Domestic Violence
Chicago-Kent College of Law
American Criminal Law Review, Forthcoming
This Article challenges the notion that there is no role for privacy in the domestic violence context. Privacy is a complicated concept that has both positive and negative aspects, and this Article examines the value that more privacy could provide for domestic violence victims. While privacy was historically used as a shield for batterers, more privacy for domestic violence victims could protect their personhood, ensuring that they are treated with dignity and respect. In addition, current mandatory criminal justice policies have become so intrusive in many victims’ lives that limitations are needed to prevent the threat of state abuse. These protections are particularly important for poor victims and victims of color who are more vulnerable to such abuses. In many cases, a domestic violence victim’s choice not to pursue the arrest and prosecution of her batterer should be respected by state authorities. In addition, no victim should be required to cooperate as a witness against her batterer.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 44
Keywords: Privacy, Domestic Violence, Criminal Justice System, Mandatory Policies, Feminism
JEL Classification: K14
Date posted: May 29, 2012