These are the legal changes that need to be made to assure the innocent are protected and true victims receive the priority they deserve:
- Limit definitions of domestic violence to physical “violence.”
- Require that accusers provide objective evidence (visible injury, medical record, police report, cell phone recording) of violence or harm before they can qualify for services and benefits.
- Respect defendants’ constitutionally-protected rights (e.g., due process).
- Assure that the accused are provided with legal assistance to assure equal treatment under the law.
- Require that domestic violence training programs be factual, balanced, and evidence-based:
- Develop a national domestic violence curriculum that is factual, balanced, and evidence-based.
- Require that statements about the gender-specific prevalence of domestic violence be based on community-based representative surveys using validated measurement tools, not biased crime reports.
- Require third-party certification of persons who conduct domestic violence training outside of their own agency.
- Educate prosecutors about the prevalence of false accusations and the need to exercise prosecutorial discretion. Remove no-drop prosecution policies.
- Require prosecution of persons who repeatedly file false statements and engage in perjury.
The extent of false allegations of domestic violence in our society threatens fundamental notions of living in a free and just society.
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments. How Domestic Violence Laws Curtail Our Fundamental Freedoms. Rockville, MD. 2010.
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