Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence in Six Communities: Beyond the Justice System. Laws and Policies In Theory and In Practice


In many of the communities, people credited certain laws and policies with improving the community response to domestic violence. However, there are also laws and polices which continue to hinder efforts to protect battered women and punish batterers. People stressed that while the laws and policies were important, they are only as good as those who enforce them and carry them out. In general, all of these sites are moving closer to pro-active arrest and prosecution policies. Whereas in the past there was more discretion in whether to arrest offenders or prosecute these cases, many jurisdictions are strengthening and standardizing the response by eliminating this discretion.