Reader feedback: Intervene, please

Re: Domestic violence: when cosy nests turn into living hells, By Beata Balogová, Sept 12 - 18, 2005, Vol 11, No 34

Creating laws may not solve the problem [of domestic abuse] but it creates awareness and is a step in the right direction. If it takes a law to make people say, "That is unacceptable behaviour", or start a cultural shift, then use the legal system.

I believe it is possible that laws [designed to protect victims of domestic violence] can potentially have no positive effects, particularly if they are not communicated to anyone. I don't see how they could make things worse, however.

I don't know what the correct solution is. I just don't want to stick my head in the sand and say families will take care of themselves. I believe in cases of abuse, intervention by the state should be welcomed.

Victims are weak. If the law is on their side, that could be one big mental support tool. I don't believe that in this day and age women should subject themselves to years of abuse waiting for the family to stop the behaviour (if the families get around to it) when a woman can stop it right now through legal means.

Husbands and boyfriends have killed so many women because the victims did not have the legal ability to put a restraining order on those men. Because they lacked the power to legally defend themselves against criminal action. Because domestic violence was considered an area beyond the law. Men who behave in violent ways should be put in jail. If you don't have a law that is broken, you can't put someone in jail.

Some may choose to protect family life against the state. I cannot fathom protecting a family willing to torture its own. When someone has a better alternative [to legislation] that would allow women and children who have the misfortune of having an abusive father/husband to live free from fear and violence, I would be glad to hear it.

BB,
Munich, Germany

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