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Domestic Violence: Victim Rights



Victims' Rights: A Reference HandbookVictims' Rights: A Reference Handbook

In the past 20 years, the victims' rights movement has gathered momentum, often succeeding in its attempts to turn the tables on laws and legislation that traditionally loaded the scales of justice in favor of criminal defendants. Victims' Rights explores this movement and its implications in detail for the first time in a single, comprehensive handbook. It answers questions vital to every U.S. citizen: What is the criminal justice system, and what is the role of the victim in that system? How has this role changed in recent years? What are society's attitudes toward victims' and defendants' rights? Why is there a push for a constitutional amendment regarding the rights of victims? This volume answers all these questions and more, and is rounded out by a chronology, biographical sketches, documents, court cases, legislation, an annotated directory of victim and defendant advocate organizations, and a general index for ease of access.

Domestic Violence Victim's Bill of Rights

  • You have the right NOT to be abused.

  • You have the right to anger over past beatings.

  • You have a right to choose to change the situation.

  • You have a right to freedom from fear of abuse.

  • You have a right to request and expect assistance from police or social agencies.

  • You have a right to share your feelings and not be isolated from others.

  • You have a right to want a better role model of communication for yourself and your children.

  • You have a right to be treated like an adult.

  • You have a right to leave the battering environment.

  • You have a right to privacy.

  • You have a right to express your own thoughts and feelings.

  • You have a right to develop your individual talents and abilities.

  • You have a right to legally prosecute the abusing spouse.

  • You have a right not to be perfect.

(Adapted from; Victimology: An International Journal., Vol. 2 1977-78, No. 3-4, p.550)

Be sure to check out the expanded victim rights area on the site for in-depth discussion of specific rights under federal law, under specific state laws, and options that victims have in exercising their rights.

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Last Updated: March 3, 2011