The Justice System and Domestic Violence: Engaging the Case But Divorcing the Victim

63 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2012

See all articles by Laurie Kohn

Laurie Kohn

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

This Article examines the development of an inverse relationship in the legal system between the concern accorded domestic violence cases and the concern accorded domestic violence victims. The Article analyzes both philosophical approaches and concrete mechanisms currently used by the justice system to address domestic violence. Concluding that the current system- though it signals a serious institutional attitude toward addressing domestic violence – has failed to increase victim safety, this Article advocates for a paradigm shift in the legal system’s approach to domestic violence.

Specifically, the Article analyzes the viability of a paradigm shift in the philosophy behind current policies that emphasize intervention by system actors to a philosophy that focuses on victim safety. The Article demonstrates that an emphasis on victim safety would encourage system actors to tailor policies to the needs of specific cases and victims, would increase victim trust in the system, and result in better justice system outcomes.

Keywords: domestic violence, abuse, judicial system, victim, criminal justice, victim safety, domestic violence abuse victims, interventions

JEL Classification: K10, K14, J12

Suggested Citation

Kohn, Laurie, The Justice System and Domestic Violence: Engaging the Case But Divorcing the Victim (2008). New York University Review of Law & Social Change, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2008; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-134; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2012-134. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2182815

Laurie Kohn (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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