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A New Approach to Criminalizing Domestic Violence  

Author:  Deborah  Tuerkheimer, J.D..

Source: Volume 14, Number 06, August/September 2009 , pp.81-83(3)

Domestic Violence Report

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This first-person article begins by defending the proposition that domestic violence has not yet been truly criminalized. By this, I mean that the laws applied to prosecute battering do not accurately reflect what battering is, or its harm. There is, in short, a disconnect between the criminal law and the experiences of domestic violence victims. To bridge this gap, I have in the past proposed a “course of conduct” battering statute, the basic features of which I will summarize here. Finally, I will note the endurance of the traditional approach to criminalizing violence, and suggest that resistance to the reform I have advocated is rooted in larger questions about the role of criminal law in redressing intimate partner abuse.

Keywords: battering as “course of conduct”

Affiliations:  1: DePaul University College of Law.

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