August 9th, 2007

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Mandatory arrest laws for batterers

Salon talks about an interesting study of mandatory arrest laws for domestic violence. There is a discussion of why victims might be reluctant to call the police, and more discussion in the letters written in response. I wrote a letter about why I was reluctant to call the cops one night. Then I responded to another letter writer who suggested that a couple be allowed to split up easily and get joint custody before there was violence. I explained that often, violence begins before there are children. It would be nice if the victim could get it together to leave before they have children, but that is rare.

It is difficult to design a system to handle domestic violence in the best way for everyone involved, and I suggest we keep thinking about ways to get help for all parties. I think the family needs to be treated as a system and counseling could help the whole family, both individual and group counseling.