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Text A. Domestic violence

It is impossible to calculate how much of the crime and imprisonment in this country is caused, directly or indirectly, by family violence.

About 80 per cent of women in prison have been victims of child abuse, sexual abuse of domestic violence.

When do women take action?

The turning point may come when a woman can no longer hide the scars and bruises. Or when her own financial resources improve, when the kids grow out, or when she begins to fear for her safety. Sometimes, neighbors hear screaming and call the police – or a doctor challenges a woman’s made-up story about how she got those broken ribs.

To tell the truth cops hate domestic calls – in part because they are so unpredictable. A neighbor may simply report a disturbance and cops have no idea what they will find on the scene. The parties may have cooled down and be sitting in stony silence. Or one may be holding the other hostage, or the kids. Sometimes, warring spouses even turn on cops - which is why many police forces send them in pairs and tell them to maintain eye contact with each other at all times. But many couples still don’t see such calls as police work.

Many cities have started training programs to make police take domestic violence calls more sensitively – and seriously.

Women are scared and want the violence to stop. Ten days later, when they get subpoena to appear in court, the situation has changed. The idea of putting someone you live with in jail becomes impossible. Pressing charges is just the first step. The victim is faced with a range of potential legal remedies, orders of protection, criminal prosecution, family court prosecution, divorce, a child custody agreement. Each step is complex and time-consuming, requiring frequent court appearances by the victim and by the abuser.

But those in the field say the question is whether the justice system can solve a complex social problem. We need to rethink what we are doing. Prosecution isn’t a panacea. We put it on when there is an emergency and we keep it on as long as necessary. But the question is, then what? [91]

Discuss the following points:

1) The text presents the situation in Great Britain. Do you think we have the same problems in Russia?



2) Why do policemen hate calls concerning domestic violence?

3) Why do women avoid suing their husbands?

4) Have you read or heard any stories about violence in the family?

5) Where can women or children find protection?

 

 

Text B

Text B. You couldn’t make it up


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