Domestic violence between spouses was banned in the United States in 1920. However, in 2015, incidents of domestic violence accounted for about 15 % of all crimes in the United States. Victims can contact special “hotlines”, where they will be provided with free consultation and advice on how to proceed as they are oriented as service assessment.
Public organizations implement hundreds of victim assistance programs, according to which it is possible for a time – up to 1-2 months, and sometimes even longer – to get a bed or even a dwelling if staying at home is dangerous. The organizers of these programs will cover the material costs of housing, help pay for travel costs and place children in a kindergarten near the temporary shelter, and also advise a lawyer for the trial in court. According to a study by the National Network for the Prevention of Domestic Violence that conducts service assessment, in just one day in September 2015, 71,000 Americans took advantage of such programs.
Most of the funding for such programs comes from private donations, therefore the resources of activists are limited. The state, for its part, within the framework of the federal law – the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 1994 – allocates funds from the budget for the investigation of incidents of domestic violence and the punishment of those responsible. The act also sets the maximum penalty.
By the way, despite the name, the law applies equally to men. The punishment depends on the specific state, the severity of the injuries, and the presence of precedents for the aggressor, but in any case, crimes related to domestic violence are punished severely.
In the most favorable case for an aggressive family man, the court may send him to re-education courses lasting up to 12 months. The culprit may be prisoned. If the incident was limited to non-life-threatening injuries and there was no use of weapons, the maximum prison term would be up to 5 years. For severe bodily injury, the sentence is up to 10 years. If the victim is disfigured and the injuries posed a danger to life, the sentence is up to 20 years, and in the event of the victim’s death – up to life imprisonment.
As you may see the domestic violence centers do not refuse any victim of such violence as they feel responsible for women and kids.
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