Unsettling The Truth, Review Essay, Evaluation Of Mandatory Arrest/Charging Policy

1315 words - 6 pages

Historically, men are viewed as a worker of home, who takes care of the family by providing necessity of life and maintaining order of home. On the other hand women are viewed as house maker, who takes care of children and is not capable of working in public spheres as men do. Also in the past, men were allowed to use violent force, if necessary, within their private life and against their female partner in order to maintain order as well as their dominance. For example, "Rule of Thumb" forbids husband to hit his wife with a stick thicker than his thumbs (Bonnycastle and Rigakos1998, 18). In another word, husbands were able to hit their wives with sticks that were thinner than a ...view middle of the document...

As mentioned above, women's increased involvement in political, economical and social sphere as well as feminist movement brought a whole new practice of criminal justice system in an attempt to bring justice and to empower women. Although there are feminists who argue about mandatory arrest policy as being a "bad" policy, some feminists' retributive approach to male violence argues in favor of feminists using criminal law for its symbolic importance. They claim that "public recognition of male violence against women as a crime emphasized women abuse as a social and political, rather than personal problem" (Currie 1998, 41). They also argued that marriage and family are not private or personal, rather it is political relation. Men's violence comes from patriarchal domination of men in political, economical and social sphere. Unless the notion of patriarchy is abandoned altogether, domestic violence will continue to exist. And the point of feminist theory is not simply to explain the social context of their lives but in an attempt to change it (Currie 1998, 43-44).Basic theory behind "Mandatory arrest/charging" is that state will protects women against their abusive partners. Statistic shows that the method has been working in term of reducing chances of re-offending/re-victimization. In addition, although it only provides temporary solution to the violent situation, it offers immediate solution to the situation, which can be escalated into a horrific crime. Nevertheless the most important fact is that the policy empowers women and serves symbolic function. It is clear to see that mandatory arrest/charging policy is beneficial to women.In sprite of all the beneficially, the method can also be problematic. A mentioned above, providing immediate temporary solution can be beneficial, and then again the fact that it only provides temporary solution become problematic. Mandatory arrest policy may increase the chance of re-offending or re-victimization in long-term. Abusive husbands might abuse their partners in revenge, after incarceration. In addition to increased chance of re-victimization by abusive partner, women can be re-victimized during the process of the arrest or during the court room proceedings. A victim may not want their children to witness their father's arrest, which may seem dramatic to children, also children may also be involved in the case, which make victim to think twice about going through the process with their children. In fact "Historical evidence of battered wives' strategies confirms that women avoid the criminal courts whenever alternatives are available" (Ursel 1998, 73).Furthermore, a victim may be dependent on the income of her abusive partner, for example. This goes back to the notion of...

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