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Overview

“The twentieth century will be remembered as a century marked by violence”

(Nelson Mandela). Women injured or humiliated by violent partners is one example.

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked,

excused or denied. It is said that Violence thrives in the absence of democracy, respect

for human rights and good governance, however no country, no city, no community is

immune, but what are the causes of this trend? And how much financial help, mental

health services and legal advices are offered to the victims of domestic violence? And

further more how do these agencies interact efficiently with each other? This report will

consider the importance of implementing a more effective and collaborative multi agency

efforts to provide domestic violence victims appropriated services support. My argument

will be that with new statutes and policies, the legal flaws in our judicial system could be

closed. I believe in that way the victim of domestic violence would feel more support.

Different Solutions to the problem, areas to be reformed:

1) Broader concept of Domestic Violence:

a) Domestic violence is not only a family problem but a social


one.

2) International perspective:

b) Newer and more active Immigration Laws family oriented.

3) More Financial support to victims of domestic violence and their


families.

4) Statistics

The issue of domestic violence is not a local, regional or national epidemic but it

transcendent to international levels in all part of the world, regardless of race, religion or
origin. I strongly believe that the United States should not only be a fighter to support
international democratic principles through the wars but we must play an active role, live

by example and show the world our commitment against the domestic violence epidemic

with tougher principles and laws.

Economically, $ 65 million annually 2007-2011 has been reauthorized to be

administered by the Attorney General. Reauthorizes the grant program for legal services

for protection orders and related family, criminal, immigration, administrative agency,

and housing matters. (Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005)

Lifetime prevalence of Intimate partner violence. (Virginia Behavioral Risk

Factor Surveillance System Fact Sheet 2005-2007)

- 18.5 % of Virginian adults experienced IPV (Intimate partner violence) at some point in

their life. Almost 1 in 4 women (23.3%) and 1 in 6 men (12%) experienced IPV at some

point in their life.

- 13.8% of adults (15.2% of women and 9% of men) reported actual physical violence in

their lifetime, this includes experiencing being hit, slapped, pushed, kicked, or physically

hurt in any way.

- 5.3% of adults reported experiencing unwanted sex by a current or former intimate

partner.

- The most commonly reported perpetrators of IPV were males (73.7%), this includes

current or former husbands, boyfriends, male fiancés, and male live-in or dating partners.

- IPV was higher among multiracial people (33.5%) than black (22.1%), Hispanic

(20.9%), other (18.5%) or white (18.2%)

Regarding Virginia hospitals and in reference to victims of Domestic violence, hospital


policies do not provide adequate direction for identifying, assessing, treating and
referring
victims of IPV.

In conclusion, as models of democratic principles through the world, the US

needs to create reforms to our already existing policies in order to generate better, safer

and more democratic communities where the main goal is to protect human dignity and

respect for one another. The Domestic violence epidemic could not be stopped if our

government, legal and social institutions do not create better policies, tougher

laws and incorporates strong networks with the support of scientifically-based research

and better data collection practices. Therefore, I believe that the best approach to fight

the global evil and international discrimination of women would be better resolved if

we create a more comprehensive and collaborative problem solving approach where all

nations are involved in the making of policy and laws.

Beatriz Porras