even death resulting from the offences themselves, the report concludes various negative physical and mental health issue are likely to ensue or be exacerbated. (p.61). Finally, the authors of the report freely admit that their survey results likely underestimate the actual incidence of domestic abuse for a number of reasons including victim fear and social stigma. (p85).
Even just the above statistics show that domestic abuse is a serious in the US. Does the criminal justice system treat women primarily as victims or criminals, especially if they respond to receiving violent treatment, by inflicting violence on the perpetrator? While theoretically the system ostensibly treats women as victims, in some ways they can be re victimized by the judicial process and therefore, if not treated as criminals not properly treated as victims. Before I explain exactly what I mean by this, I would like to make the point that the way the criminal justice system operates is influenced by its’ sociological context. In other words, it may allege that it is interested in protecting all people including both men and women equally from criminal activity and punishing its’ perpetrators, in the context of a strongly patriarchal society as we have had at least until very recently, this judicial principle is not always applied evenly (Payne and Wermeling p.1) For example, domestic abuse was not considered a serious crime if one at all, Women were expected to be subservient to men, even their intimate partners. If police somehow became aware of incidents they were reluctant to get involved and lay charges unless there was serious bodily injury or death (Payne and Wermeling p.4). Women were often reluctant to report being abused for a variety of reasons, including fear of suffering more violence, embarrassment, being financially dependent on their male partner, fear of their children being harmed or taken away, social stigma being brainwashed into believing she deserved the abuse