SUPPORT FOR MANDATORY ARREST IN RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
OCTOBER 1987; REVISED MAY 2007, APRIL 2015
Believing that domestic violence is a serious problem within our society and community, the League of Women Voters of Janesville supports the establishment of written policies and guidelines that require arrest and prosecution in cases where probable cause exists that a person has abused an adult family member or household member. Our policy is grounded in the safety, accountability, and dignity for all concerned. (May, 2007)
The LWV of Janesville believes that mandatory arrest and prosecution policies can protest victims and deter future violence when they are a part of a coordinated community-wide response to the crime of domestic violence. The community-wide response should provide for:
prosecuting a case with a process that balances community safety along or in addition to the rights and safety of the victim;
protecting the victim from further abuse after an arrest is made; including providing information about her/his legal rights and about community resources;
consistent and on-going training and information about domestic violence for law enforcement officers, district attorneys, judges, and a coordinated community response team;
collecting and publishing data that can aid in monitoring domestic abuse related arrests, prosecutions, sentencing, and services to victims;
holding the abuser accountable through a range of alternative consequences, including treatment, within the criminal justice system;
advocating for prosecutors that specialize in domestic violence;
advocating for a special domestic violence court;
supporting violence prevention programs;
responding to domestic violence in a manner that is sensitive to the diversity of our community in terms of factors such as socioeconomic status, culture, race, language, religion, rural/urban, and sexual orientation.
Domestic Violence ~ A pattern of abusive behavior that is used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Coordinated community response team ~ A team consisting of key players in law enforcement, criminal justice, and other community systems who develop strategies and procedures focusing on domestic violence and the practices related to victims and offenders. These strategies aim to establish ways for the community to intervene in a way that ends abuse.