Literature Review

The magnitude of domestic violence as a social problem in the
patriarchal society became evident in the 1970s. The main problems
associated with domestic violence include the inability of the law
enforcement agencies to respond to the problem, as well as its main
causes. Generally, domestic problem is as a result of the social
structures, inequality between men and women and the subordination role
of women. Over the years, there have been numerous attempts and
campaigns aimed at reducing incidences of domestic violence which
includes empowering women and enhancing the role of criminal justice.
Among the most important aspect is how the police deal with the
perpetrators of domestic violence after arrest. This is mainly because
the arrested individuals and the victims have family or marital ties.
The police should therefore consider the perspective and views of the
victim on the law enforcement interventions. For example, not all
victims of domestic violence would like their partners prosecuted after
arrest. The discretionary powers of the officers, which are influenced
by the circumstances of each case, should therefore be allowed. The
victim preferences can also be used to explain the relatively low number
of arrests and prosecution of domestic violence perpetrators, compared
to the extent of the problem in the society. Despite the small number
of victims who want their partners arrested, majority of them withdraw
from the cases after arrest due to fear of relationship breakup, hope of
reconciliation and the feeling that the sentences would be undesirable.
This means that policies that will reduce the influence of the victim
preferences in dealing with domestic violence will be unfavorable to the
victims. In addition, there have been controversies on whether domestic
violence should be considered to be a civil or criminal issue.
Therefore, there is a need for more research on the most appropriate
interventions to domestic violence in the society (Hoyle, 2000).
Hoyle, C, 2000. Negotiating domestic violence: police, criminal justice,
and victims, Oxford New York: Oxford University Press.