Thursday, January 5, 2017

Book Review: Abetting Batterers

* This post contains topics of domestic abuse that may contain triggers for some. Read at your own discretion. 

This will be a short and sweet review that has details of my personal experiences.  This is a tough subject as the child of a woman who was battered. I desperately am interested in the ways the system really let my mother down. Also, what can be done to make it easier for women, like my mother to get the help need sooner?

Domestic violence is an every growing crime. It is extremely preventable and all too often goes unreported. Part of the reason why is because the victims feel as if their case doesn't matter. Police officers can be quick to judge, the abuser gets off on technicalities or gets no time for the crime. This leads to feelings of disappointment and betrayal.

While laws have come so far, remember when it was legal to rape your wife? In some states it still is legal, or they make exceptions. Now hear me out, I am not necessarily saying that domestic violence and rape are the same or even go hand and hand. In my mother's case, they did. There are so many programs available for women also. My mom took my sister and me to a domestic violence shelter when she finally decided to leave. 

 This book, Abetting Batterers, seems to reveal a truth that I know all too well. A troubling pattern of inattention and incompetence. That ultimately puts the safety of women at risk and encourages abusers to continue their abuse and violence. When you don't get punished for something, you are likely to repeat the behavior because you view it as permissible.  

Even though states and counties are very different, it is very obvious that domestic violence is on the back burner of the system. It is that topic that no one wants to address. It is easier to dismiss or even ignore it. All though the facts tell us, ignoring it isn't making it go away. 

I really enjoyed this book because I got to see things from the other side. The lawmakers, the prosecutors, the judges. Reading about their thoughts and analyzing everything was fascinating to me. It gave me a perspective that I didn't have before. 

Overall I believe this is a must read for any person. 

Goodreads Description: 

Whatever the number, domestic violence victims remain far too many for a preventable crime. More and more victims of intimate partner violence are reaching out to police, prosecutors and judges only to be sorely disappointed, even betrayed. 

While laws and programs have multiplied over the last few decades to address domestic violence, the country is getting safer for almost everyone except for women who have, or have had, abusive male intimate partners. Andrew R. Klein and Jessica L. Klein look at the criminal justice response to domestic violence across America today, ranging from police to prosecutors and courtrooms across the nation. Abetting Batterers reveals the troubling pattern of inattention and incompetence that compromises the safety of women and encourages their male abusers to continue their abuse and violence. 

Although criminal justice system agencies vary among cities, towns and counties within the same state they all too often relegate domestic violence to the backburners of the system, dismissing victims and ignoring even the most serious and chronic abusers. The variation reveals the real problem in preventing intimate partner violence lies in these agencies commitment and will, rather than their ability to do the job.

 The authors unveil what is working in regard to protecting victims of domestic violence and holding their abusers accountable, and they suggest strategies for ensuring that what is being done right can be replicated and become the law and practice across the nation. The wide variation in how intimate partner violence is handled by similar jurisdictions demonstrates the real problem in preventing it lies in these agencies commitment, rather than ability to do the job. This book proves to be invaluable in understanding what is and is not being done in the reality of domestic violence in America."

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