Renewing the Call to Criminalize Domestic Violence: An Assessment Three Years Later
14 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2007
Domestic violence as defined by our criminal justice system bears little resemblance to the abuse inflicted on over half a million women by intimate partners each year. Premised on a transactional model of crime that isolates and decontextualizes violence, the law applied to domestic abuse conceals the reality of an ongoing pattern of conduct occurring within a relationship characterized by power and control. Reforming our substantive criminal law to recognize and criminalize the violent exercise of power and control in intimate relationships represents the next phase of law's evolving response to this type of violence. Since writing "Recognizing and Remedying the Harm of Battering: A Call to Criminalize Domestic Violence," which was published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology in 2004, I have presented these propositions to a number of audiences, both within and outside of the legal academy, and I have endeavored to reinforce the article's call for a fundamental shift in how we criminalize battering. "Renewing the Call to Criminalize Domestic Violence: An Assessment Three Years Later" considers the progress that has been made toward this end, and argues that recent developments in the United States Supreme Court's Confrontation Clause jurisprudence make the impetus for reform even greater.
Keywords: domestic violence, criminal law, criminalization
JEL Classification: K14, K19, K42, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation