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What is a Domestic Violence Court?

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  • Written By: M. Lupica
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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Domestic violence courts are specialized courts that are particularly equipped to handle domestic violence cases. These courts are typically presided over by judges who handle a caseload comprised almost entirely of domestic violence cases. Additionally, there are usually social services made readily available to victims through the courts to help them cope with and adjust to the fallout from the domestic violence issue that led them to the court. Further, the domestic violence courts are well-equipped to deal with those found to have committed acts of domestic violence as the courts are able to focus their efforts on the oversight of mandated punishments.

One benefit of the existence of specialized courts specifically equipped to deal with domestic violence issues is the expert handling of such cases. Judges who preside over the domestic violence court hearings typically deal solely with domestic violence cases. As a result, these judges acquire a deepened understanding of domestic violence and its surrounding issues. Proponents of domestic violence courts argue that this understanding is essential to handling such a delicate problem.

Additionally, a domestic violence court is able to hear and dispose of domestic violence cases much more quickly than the typical judicial process would allow. The destructive effects of domestic violence make time a supreme factor in every case. The ability of a domestic violence court to expediently handle a case is one of its greatest benefits.

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A domestic violence court is typically aided by a social services group that makes counseling readily available to victims of domestic violence. Generally, a guilty finding for the batterer in a domestic violence case is just the beginning of the healing process for a victim. The psychological effects of the victim having life disrupted after being harmed by a loved one usually remain long after a court decision is rendered. The availability of counseling services after the case is settled is indispensable to help the victim throughout the aftermath of the adversarial court process.

The benefits of a domestic violence court also extend to the administration of punishment of the abuser. Having a specialized court allows better oversight and execution of the abuser’s punishment for his or her acts of domestic violence. For instance, the court may employ special officers to ensure compliance by the abuser. Penalties may include anything from a written apology to a jail sentence, depending on the egregiousness of the abuse and the existence of prior incidents.

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