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UMCP Court Response Domestic Violence Connection to Stalking and Intervention Discussion

UMCP Court Response Domestic Violence Connection to Stalking and Intervention Discussion

UMCP Court Response Domestic Violence Connection to Stalking and Intervention Discussion


Discussion 6: “Court Response, Domestic Violence Connection to Stalking and Intervention – Looking to the Future”

Protective orders are designed to enhance victim safety.

Do you believe that they increase victim safety?  Why or why not?

List the most significant advantage of protective orders.  Explain WHY.

List the most significant disadvantage of protective orders.  Explain WHY.

  1. The victim (plaintiff) invites her husband over for dinner with an active order of protection in place against him. An argument occurs and she calls the police claiming he violated the order. 

Do you think she should be arrested for violating the order as well as the abuser?  Explain. 

Can she be legally arrested for violating the order in your state?  Explain.

  • In Arizona, the answer is no. Why?
  • Victim impact statements are often used in sentencing.  They give the victim an opportunity to present in court orally or in writing, how the crime impacted them and what they think should happen in regards to the punishment.  What if a domestic violence victim has reunited with her abuser, describes him as wonderful and recommends the least amount of punishment. 
  • To what level should the judge consider the victim’s wishes noted in an impact statement and/or presented to the court? 
  1. If the judge had a solid understanding of domestic violence, what factors would he/she consider when evaluating the victim’s statement? Note at least TWO and explain why they are important.

List TWO things you learned (or key points) from the discussion resources on victim impact statements.

  • Select one of the questions to address below.  You only need to answer ONE of them.
  • Option 1:  What was the key message the judge was presenting in the discussion resource podcast?
  1. Option 2:  Misdemeanor convictions of domestic violence are typically placed on unsupervised probation (with a few exceptions) in Arizona.  Felony convictions of domestic violence are placed on supervised probation through the county. 

Do you think gender of the probation officer is a factor in supervising domestic violence abusers?  Should only male probation officers be able to supervise male abusers?  Why or why not?

  • 5.  List the TWO most significant things you learned (or key points) by watching the video on stalking. List them numerically.
  • Describe in detail the relationship between stalking and domestic violence?
  • 6.  Teen dating violence and relationship abuse is a huge problem, sometimes starting as early as 11 and 12 years old. Why is it happening at such a young age?   

7.  Evaluating what you have learned in class, what do you think are the two most effective solutions to domestic violence and describe how you would implement each one? Use the headings below in your response to note which one is preventive and responsive.

One strategy should be preventive.

One strategy should be responsive.  Sell each approach and explain why it will work.  Feel free to be creative.

response to jennifer

1. In my opinion, protective orders do not enhance victim safety. Protective orders are simply a piece of paper which give law enforcement authority to take legal action if violations of the order occur. While I do think it is important to take legal action if the order is violated, it does not guarantee physical safety. If the offender truly wants to harm the victim, an order from the court is not going to stop him or her.

* One advantage of protective orders is that they create rules (orders) that the offender is supposed to obey. This can come in handy in a situation where the offender is ordered to move out of the house or stay away from a workplace. It affords law enforcement a means to take enforcement action if a violation occurs. Another advantage is that it creates a paper trail of the offender’s behavior for the court. If the offender violates the order, then a violation of court order criminal report can be taken. Continual violations show the court the offender’s bad behavior and will cause a need for increased punishments.

* A significant disadvantage that protective orders have is that they do not guarantee physical safety. As mentioned already, it is just a piece of paper to an offender that is committed to causing physical harm. Another disadvantage is that some victims will voluntarily reestablish contact with the offender clearly in violation of the court orders. When the victim becomes upset with the offender, they may call the police to report a violation of the protective because it is convenient for them. It makes enforcement and prosecution of violations difficult if the victims engage with the offender and only uses the protective order as a tool to get back at the offender when the relationship starts going sour.

1. I feel that both the victim and the offender hold equal responsibility in terms of protective orders. They both should be held responsible for obeying the orders of the court. If a victim voluntarily engages with an offender whom she is protected from, then she should be held responsible. One of two things should happen, she should be arrested for the violation, or the protective order should be permanently cancelled by the courts.

* In California, either party can be arrested for violation of a protective order. Per California Legislative Information, it states, “273.6 PC (a) Any intentional and knowing violation of a protective order, as defined in Section 6218 of the Family Code, or of an order issued pursuant to Section 527.6, 527.8, or 527.85 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or Section 15657.03 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment” (California Legislative Information, 2014).

* I did not know that in Arizona you cannot arrest a victim for violation of a protective order.

response to sergio

The most significant advantage of an OOP is that they were originally created to force the legal system to take action by removing their reluctance of prosecution/enforcement and making this so called “civil matter” criminal when the defendant disobeys a court order (Buzawa et al., 2017).

The most significant disadvantage of an OOP is that the court order in itself does not protect the victim any further, it just provides consequences for future acts which must be committed to be able to provide any assistance, but disregards past acts with no imposed consequences (Buzawa et al., 2017).

1. If the plaintiff invites the defendant over for dinner with an active OOP against the defendant, regardless of what occurs (arguing or whatever), it is a violation of the OOP against the defendant.

I do not think that is a reason to arrest the plaintiff due to the same reasons they oftentimes change their position reference prosecution, cooperation, and what occurred. The plaintiff is in an emotional state when they are not going to be able to make decisions due to varying emotions and circumstances based on their elevated stress and emotional levels.

I live in Arizona, so parts 2 and 3 apply equally. In Arizona, if the plaintiff to an OOP invites the defendant over for any reason regardless of the reason, it is legally the defendant’s responsibility to abide by the court order and not have any contact they are restricted from by the court order. The plaintiff is not legally able to permit the defendant to disobey the court order.

1. Victim impact statements are oftentimes used in court and presented to/in front of the judge for sentencing for a defendant. I believe the judge should consider the statement from the victim in relation to the current state of affairs between the plaintiff and defendant. If the victim has recanted or minimized their previous testimony or not cooperated, it should be considered along with the reported criminal history of the defendant. Equally considered should be the extent of the injury caused by the defendant. Regardless of what the plaintiff is currently stating which should be considered, it should not be the determining factor, it should be equally weighed with the totality of the evidence.

If a judge is considering the impact statement provided by the plaintiff, the judge should consider the totality of the circumstances and injuries caused by the defendant. The two most important (I believe) are the severity of injury (financial, personal, etc) caused by the defendant, and the reported history of the defendant reference other related types of criminal actions to include any violence history and substance abuse. This is important because if the defendant is causing injury, (especially physically) to the plaintiff, it is not in the best interest of anyone involved to minimize the risk to society as a whole if the plaintiff desires a lessened or no sentence imposed. Additionally, the judge should consider the defendant’s history of domestic violence/violent crimes in comparison with their substance abuse. If the defendant already has a violent criminal history or criminal drug history, the defendant is more likely not going to adhere to a lessened sentence and may need the mandatory minimum outside of a plea/or reduced sentence in an attempt to allow the plaintiff to heal/recover from the affects and provide time for the defendant to get help, even if mandated by the courts.

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