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Legislative Notes


Domestic violence is most often manifested by repeated, deliberate and severe beatings of family or household members. Victims frequently suffer broken bones, concussions, miscarriages or other physical injuries. The abused family or household members are also subjected to serious psychological and emotional injuries. Even though domestic violence impacts most clearly upon the victims, the assailants, too, are not without injury, often suffering from some type of mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse problem. The traditional view is that domestic violence does not exist, or if it exists, it must be dealt with privately. Today this view inappropriately deals with the grave problem of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a silent crisis which exists in every social, economic and ethnic class in our society.

Although domestic violence is generally regarded as a social problem, it is also a crime which often goes undetected because it is either unreported or improperly recorded. In order to provide the appearance of a peaceful family life, a family or household member may be hesitant to report an attack or threat of force to authorities. Emotional and social pressures further compel a victim of domestic abuse to stay within the home and not seek outside assistance. Central agencies are unavailable in many jurisdictions to catalog incidents of abuse or alleged abuse. Absent a uniform police reporting procedure and a central collection agency, it is virtually impossible to accurately determine the extent of domestic abuse.

H.B. 835 responds to many of the problems associated with domestic violence.

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