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When a person’s safety is threatened by the behavior of another such as bodily harm, sexual assault, mental and financial impairment, or causing fear, it amounts to abuse. Domestic violence is the abuse of individuals who are in close relationships such as spousal or engagement. The Peace and Protective Orders-Burden of Proof regulation in Maryland and the Violence against Women Act (VAWA) are some of the laws that have been created to deal with domestic violence. The rise in domestic abuse cases has led to the enactment of new laws to offer security and well-being to the aggrieved persons.
Peace and Protective Orders- Burden of Proof
This is a recent law in Maryland that was passed in 2014 to protect families against domestic abuse. It was meant to vary the amount of evidence available to the judge (from ‘clear and convincing’ to preponderance evidence) who would be making conclusions during peace and protective hearings. The judge is required to grant a final peace order hearing to the accused person who has been issued with a provisional order (Cattaneo, Grossmann, & Chapman, 2016). In the same law, the judge can grant the final peace order under some conditions such as when there is evidence that the accused has inflicted harm to the applicant or intends to do so in the future. The final protective order is granted for protection if the judge receives adequate evidence that abuse has taken place or the defendant acknowledges issuance of the temporary protective order.
The statute realizes positive effects where liability to provide evidence is lessened, and those seeking protection and safety can easily access the courts’ intervention. The process of obtaining orders is easier since the evidence needed is of the same standard as in civil proceedings (Cattaneo et al., 2016). Safety and protection are accorded to the abused parties through the peace and protective orders issued, and that prohibit contact, causing distress, and nuisance. The law guarantees a less taxing process to individuals seeking a divorce when ascertaining their case if it is based on domestic abuse where they only give evidence that they have suffered harm other than clear and confirming proof.
According to the prosecutor, two men were facing charges of causing death to a New Windsor woman by stifling and cutting her throat and throwing away her body. Bret Michael Wheeler and Robert Theodore Bosley were said to have planned to kill Kandi Gerber; an act they executed maliciously and inhumanly. The judge ordered their detention devoid of bail (Mongilio, 2016). Elsewhere in Hampstead, Robert Charles Schech was accused of murder by a house fire, which was intentional, malevolent, and fraudulent. The occupant, Donna Marie, had no way of escape since fires had been lit at several spots hence died of injuries and pain (Mcmanus, 2016). Robert was put under supervision and charged with several counts of wrongdoings that included arson, fraud, first and second-degree murder, and malicious burning. He was incarcerated as investigations went on.
Violence against Women Act
This is a federal statute that was enacted in 1994 by the United States Congress to offer protection to victims of domestic violence, especially women. Funding programs, launching violence call lines, non-disclosure of a new address, and alterations of settlement laws are all part of the provisions of the act (Modi, Palmer, & Armstrong, 2014). The statute provides approaches on how convicts can be charged in court when they cause bodily harm and threaten to use lethal arms against a partner or child. One who has been charged with such abuse is prohibited from traveling to another state where the victim is or causing another person to relocate to a different locality forcefully.
The provisions of the act have direct services that abused women can access. For instance, anti-rape devices and legal charges for protective orders are adequately financed. All jurisdictions are bound to recognize and execute protection orders for the victims (Modi et al., 2014). Law enforcement officers are trained on domestic and sexual violence, and units that deal with crime in the communities are funded. The law provides support and services to victims of physical and emotional abuse, as well as sexual assault, in an attempt to reduce domestic violence against women.
Kenneth Manzanares was charged by the FBI with the murder of his wife. The incident occurred when they were traveling by water from Ketchikan to Juneau where a disagreement ensued. He claimed that his wife could not stop laughing at him and he struck her on the head (“Man killed wife,” 2017). In another instance, Aita Gurung was charged with murdering his wife, Yogeswari Khadka, intentionally, even though he had not planned to kill her earlier. He used a large knife to harm her and attempted to murder his mother-in-law too (Silverman, 2017). The wife suffered injuries in the skull and hands while the mother had severe head wounds. The murder took place outside their home a few hours after the discharge of Gurung from the hospital where he had gone for a check-up on mental health.
Many cases have been reported regarding people affected by the problem of domestic violence and new laws have been enacted to maximize their safety, protection, and wellbeing. The laws offer enhanced services and support, as well as easier processes of seeking justice from courts, by those who fear or experience suffering. They have a net effect of reducing cases of domestic violence through the issuance of orders and at the same time supporting those who suffer abuse.
Cattaneo, L. B., Grossmann, J., & Chapman, A. R. (2016). The goals of IPV survivors receiving orders of protection: An application of the empowerment process model. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31(17), 2889-2911.
Man killed wife on cruise ship for ‘laughing’ at him. (2017). BBC News. Web.
Mcmanus, K. (2016). Hampstead man charged with killing his wife in fatal fire. WFMD. Web.
Modi, M. N., Palmer, S., & Armstrong, A. (2014). The role of Violence against Women Act in addressing intimate partner violence: A public health issue. Journal of Women’s Health, 23(3), 253-259.
Mongilio, H. (2016). Prosecutor: Murder ‘planned, vicious, brutal’. Carroll County Times. Web.
Silverman, A. (2017). Man used meat cleaver to kill wife, injure mother-in-law, police say. USA Today. Web.